Sources — San Francisco 49ers’ trade for No. 3 draft pick spurred by concern over New England Patriots moving up for Mac Jones

One of the numerous good reasons the San Francisco 49ers traded up to the third in general location in this year’s NFL draft was their belief that the New England Patriots could trade up to No. 3 and beat them to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, league sources told ESPN.

San Francisco required to placement by itself to find a quarterback for the long run and thought there were various deserving candidates. But the 49ers also were worried that the Patriots would leapfrog them in the draft and placement on their own to find Jones before San Francisco could.

The 49ers viewed as the perfectly-documented connection amongst Monthly bill Belichick and Nick Saban and understood that New England was doing legwork on the quarterback potential clients in the draft. The Niners also thought at the time that Jones was the prospect the Patriots determined as their opportunity quarterback of the long run.

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This belief contributed to the Niners finishing the late-March trade that sent three initial-round draft picks to the Miami Dolphins to shift up to the No. 3 location, which gave them the prospect to draft Jones or any other quarterback they deemed deserving in that slot.

San Francisco eventually made a decision Trey Lance was its preferred quarterback, and Jones wound up with New England at the 15th select anyway — with out the Patriots having to surrender any supplemental payment.

Jones will start New England’s time opener Sunday in opposition to Miami, whilst Lance will serve as San Francisco’s backup to Jimmy Garoppolo in opposition to the Detroit Lions.