What if Mac Jones doesn’t go #3 overall in 2021 NFL Draft?
The 2021 NFL draft cycle has been a roller coaster ride without a media-infused combine and limited people at workouts causing less to leak out. When the San Francisco 49ers traded up to number three overall, nobody thought that they traded up for Mac Jones. And then everybody thought they were trading up for Mac Jones. Now that we have had Justin Fields pro day, and reports are the 49ers will go see Trey Lance as well, the rumors of Jones going third overall have died down quite a bit.
While betting markets are very small scale for things like the draft, many in the media pointed that Jones was the favorite as a reason for the pick being him. Now, the favorite is Fields. The cycle has gone from just last week the Bears were going to have no shot at Jones to now a realistic chance that he will be drafted by Chicago.
When looking at all of the possible offenses that you could drop Mac Jones into, the best fit would be Chicago behind Andy Dalton. Beyond that, if a quarterback is going to fall after not going third, it would also be Jones.
The idea seems to be that while San Fran may take Jones third, it is only because of Shanahan and his scheme. Matt Nagy and his scheme is a better fit for Jones, but beyond that, there is not a long list of coaches with this exact fit of quarterback in mind.
Many say that New England Patriots want their next Tom Brady, but after years of Brady, Bill Belichick has now moved onto the mobile Cam Newton. This has caused his offense to change, and by all accounts, he is building an offense to suit a more mobile QB in 2021.
Beyond fit, a lot of these teams have committed to their signal-caller. Atlanta would not take Mac Jones. If they went QB, it would be Trey Lance, who is most likely to sit a year behind Matt Ryan. Jones is more likely to find himself starting. Cincinnati and Miami have their QB while the Lions and Panthers traded for one.
If Mac Jones falls past three, the realization is that he can very well end up at nine, if not lower. Would Vic Fangio take a chance on Mac Jones to compete with Drew Lock in training camp and let the best man win? Would Vic Fangio be comfortable trading back to a familiar friend in Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy?
Let’s face it, at pick 20 the odds of the Chicago Bears landing one of the top five QBs, Mac Jones included, is small. Even if Jones falls. Still, if you play with the hypothetical that he falls past three, it is easy to see him fall to nine and potentially later. That makes a trade-up very realistic, especially for a GM named Ryan Pace. At the very least, Chicago Bears fans should be prepared for a Jones fall into their range.