The San Francisco 49ers will now pick at No. 3 in the NFL Draft, after today’s blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins. It would be a huge surprise if the team didn’t take a quarterback at that spot, after trading two future first rounders and the No. 12 pick this year to vault up into the top three.
When the trade went down, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance was the quarterback most were pointing to. The North Dakota State product seems to be impressing in the pre-draft process, and is coming off of a nice pro day performance. If not Lance, most figure Justin Fields will be the choice.
However, there’s a growing contingent of people who believe Alabama‘s Mac Jones will be the pick at No. 3. He’s had a meteoric rise since the start of last season, but even now, it would be shocking from him to go as high as third overall.
NBC Sports’ Chris Simms, who is known for pretty bold quarterback takes, tweeted that Jones is the “NFL-ready” prospect that the Niners made that aggressive move up for. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen chimed in this evening to say that he agrees with Simms’ takeaway.
Kyle Shanahan had success with Matt Ryan and he and Mike Shanahan had a love for Kirk Cousins.
Agree with Simms here.
I see @MacJones_10 as the 49ers' pick and @treylance09 as the fallback.
That is mocking Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson as the first two picks. https://t.co/AMPs42OTLD
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 26, 2021
Jones was extremely impressive this year, and he may wind up being one of the best quarterbacks in the class. Taking him No. 3 would still be a real surprise.
He’s generally being mocked closer to the No. 10-15 range. That could obviously change as we get closer to the NFL Draft, which is just over a month away, but there’s a chance that Jones will be there at No. 12, when the 49ers could have picked.
After that initial trade today, the Dolphins used the No. 12 pick to jump up to No. 6 in a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. If Mac Jones is the pick for San Francisco, they could’ve made a significantly cheaper deal to flip with the Eagles, or another team closer to that range.
This doesn’t mean there’s no way it happens, but it would be a curious use of resources, unless the San Francisco 49ers have a strong belief that another team in the middle of the top 10 has Mac Jones targeted.