When the San Francisco 49ers made their blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up to the No. 3 spot in April’s NFL Draft, most people, including me, assumed it was to take either Zach Wilson of BYU or Justin Fields of Ohio State.
NBC’s Chris Simms was the first to throw out the idea that the 49ers might actually be targeting Alabama’s Mac Jones with the third overall pick.
Simms was widely ridiculed for his thought that Jones might be the pick, but since then the idea has picked up steam, and that’s good news for the Falcons who own pick No. 4.
For several weeks we’ve been saying to watch for the smoke signals that Atlanta is serious about taking a quarterback at No. 4. Head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot took a trip to see quarterback Trey Lance’s pro day in North Dakota. They also went to see Mac Jones at Alabama.
The 49ers may be serious about Jones at No. 3, or they may be doing the Falcons a favor by hyping him up? Why is that a favor to the Falcons?
Atlanta isn’t one player away from competing for a title, but early in the process we advocated for Justin Fields to be the pick at No. 4. If Fields is available, the Falcons will have an interesting choice to make.
They can get their quarterback of the future or they have the best available option available to trade down. See, every team in the last five years that has traded IN to the Top 5 of the draft, has taken a quarterback.
San Francisco didn’t trade three first round picks to take a wide receiver (only Thomas Dimitroff would do that), and for the Falcons to get maximum value in a trade, a franchise quarterback like Fields being available would extract a premium from a team looking to move up.
That the 49ers are doing the Mac Jones hype job for the Falcons is making Atlanta’s No. 4 pick more valuable by the day.