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49ers would have drafted Mac Jones, not Trey Lance, if Joe Montana was in charge

Related: Comparing Mac Jones to the other first-round rookie quarterbacks after Week 8

New York Jets v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Joe Montana knows a thing or two about quarterbacking. A four-time Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Montana was the best QB of the 1980s and considered the greatest ever before Tom Brady came along.

Joe Montana also knows that he would have drafted Mac Jones third overall this year if he were the San Francisco 49ers. His former team, however, went in a different direction and eventually took Trey Lance to be its quarterback of the future.

“If I were the 49ers, I would have taken the kid from Alabama last year. Nothing against the guy that they took but, more pro-style offense, more used to being in tough situations,” Montana said on ESPN’s College Football Live earlier this week (via the Tuscaloosa News).

Jones remained on board until the New England Patriots picked him 15th overall.

As opposed to Lance, he won his team’s QB1 job and has started every game. It may not always have been pretty, but Jones is clearly the top rookie quarterback in the NFL eight weeks into the regular season: he has hit 68.1 percent of his throws for 1,997 yards as well as 9 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

Lance, meanwhile, is a little-used backup in San Francisco. He has appeared in four games and has completed 52.1 percent of his pass attempts for 354 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

At this far too early point in their careers, Jones has the upper hand. He also has a case as the most successful Alabama quarterback in the NFL right now.

“Alabama reminds me of the USC of old. They are putting out quarterbacks like crazy and I think the kid [Bryce Young] that is there now is fun to watch,” Montana added. ”Alabama has such great teams and are so far above other teams that their talent level usually carries them.”