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Mac Jones Becomes the New Favorite in Odds to Be Taken 3rd Overall in 2021 NFL Draft

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Mar 29, 2021 · 11:48 AM PDT

Mac Jones 2021 NFL Draft Third Overall Pick - San Francisco 49ers
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones passes against Ohio State during the second half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla., in this Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Patrick Surtain II and Mac Jones had the spotlight at Alabama's Pro Day, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
  • Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is now the +125 favorite to be the third player chosen in the 2021 NFL Draft
  • Last week, the San Francisco 49ers traded with the Miami Dolphins to acquire the third overall pick
  • NBC NFL analyst and QB guru Chris Simms believes the Niners did so to get Jones

If you’ve been keeping up with the 2021 NFL Draft update, you know that the stock of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones is rising rapidly. Moreover, the San Francisco 49ers just traded up for the third overall pick.

He’s not exactly #1 with a bullet, but if the NFL Draft were the Olympics, Jones would be in line for a podium finish. The latest projections in the NFL Draft odds are establishing Jones as the favorite to be the third player chosen on draft day. Jones is listed at +125 to be selected third overall.

Get these odds at DraftKings.

2021 NFL Draft Third Overall Pick Odds

Player Odds at DraftKings
Mac Jones +125
Justin Fields +175
Trey Lance +175
Zach Wilson +1200
Ja’Marr Chase +5000
Kyle Pitts +5000
Penei Sewell +5000
Trevor Lawrence +10000
Micah Parsons +15000
Kwity Paye +15000
Rashawn Slater +20000
DeVonta Smith +20000
Kyle Trask +20000
Kellen Mond +25000
Jamie Newman +25000

Odds as of Mar 29.
Not so long ago, there was a prop on when the Alabama QB would be picked. The total bar at the time was set at 18.5.

Niners Are Picking a QB

First of all, let’s be clear – the 49ers are intent on selecting a QB with the third overall selection. A team isn’t trading up three picks in the draft to get to #3 in order to draft a tackle or a tight end. They’re looking for a guy to build their future around.

All indications are that the guy they are targeting is Jones. According to NBC’s Peter King, either 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan or GM John Lynch will be attending Jones’ second pro day on Tuesday. At the same time, the Niners will be sending assistant GM Adam Peters to Tuesday’s pro day being conducted by Ohio State QB Justin Fields.

Then again, the San Fran brass is known to be masters of misdirection when it comes to NFL drafting. In 2017, Shanahan was in attendance for Mitch Trubisky’s pro day, but the team ended up opting to pass on Trubisky.

Two years later, the team was telling people that they felt Quinnen Williams was the better defensive lineman than Nick Bosa, but it was the latter that the Niners took with their first-round selection.

This type of gamesmanship runs in the Shanahan family. In 2006, when the Denver Broncos held the first overall pick in the draft, Shanahan’s father Mike, then Denver’s head coach, never once mentioned QB Jay Cutler. Yet when the Broncos stepped up to the podium on draft night, it was Cutler’s name that they called.

Simms a Mac Man

Considered one of the finest assessors of QBs among the current NFL media, NBC’s Chris Simms, himself a former NFL QB, believes that Mac Jones is the best fit for the 49ers system. He’s convinced that’s why San Francisco traded up to ensure they’d be landing the Alabama QB.

Simms points out that Shanahan traditionally gets the most out of QBs who are trusting in his system and are capable of making the right reads. As examples, he’s citing 2009 NFL passing champion Matt Schaub 2009, Kirk Cousins during his time with Washington, and Matt Ryan’s 2016 MVP campaign with Atlanta.

He’s certain that among this year’s crop of college QBs, Jones is the QB best suited to this role. It’s also worth noting that Simms and Shanahan are close friends.

Jones On Mac Jones

Another QB guru in the Mac Jones’ corner is his namesake, longtime NFL coach June Jones. He’s convinced that the Alabama signal caller is the QB in this year’s draft, who will make the best NFL starter.

June Jones thinks that Mac Jones’ vertical throws are as accurate as many current NFL QBs.

Who Should You Believe?

Former NFL QB Sage Rosenfels, another QB mentor, is among the grup who are certain that all this Jones to SF talk is a smokescreen.

Then again, after watching the Dwayne Haskins fiasco in Washington, is a team really trading up to get Fields? Unless the Niners know that the New York Jets aren’t taking BYU QB Zach Wilson at #2, then it has to be Mac Jones.

Pick: Mac Jones (+125)

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