Daniel Jeremiah NFL Mock Draft 2021 3.0: Mac Jones to 49ers, Lance to Falcons

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 6, 2021

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Quarterbacks are the major theme of the latest mock draft from Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, with signal-callers taken with each of the first four picks.

Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson remain the top two picks, while the San Francisco 49ers are projected to take Alabama's Mac Jones at No. 3. The Atlanta Falcons follow suit by selecting Trey Lance with the fourth pick.

Justin Fields falls to the Detroit Lions at No. 7 in this mock, leaving only two of the top seven picks for any other position.

Here is the latest projection from Jeremiah ahead of the first round on April 29.

       

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

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3. San Francisco 49ers: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

4. Atlanta Falcons: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

       

The first two picks have been penciled in for weeks, but it is now a near certainty the Jets will take a quarterback after trading away Sam Darnold to the Carolina Panthers.

San Francisco is the bigger wild card, presumably taking a quarterback after trading up from No. 12 to No. 3. Fields and Lance are considered more high-upside options based on their physical tools, but Jones could be the team's pick.

"I'm not surprised San Francisco traded up to No. 3," Jeremiah wrote. "I am surprised that everything you hear points toward Jones being the Niners' pick at No. 3."

This rumor has become a popular one as of late.

"I'm hearing a lot of noise about Jones being the 49ers' preference," ESPN's Todd McShay reported while also mocking Jones at No. 3.

It could let Lance slide to the Falcons at No. 4, which could be a perfect pick considering the North Dakota State product is relatively raw compared to others in the class.

Not only would the NFL be a huge step up in competition from the FCS, Lance was a redshirt sophomore this year who only played one game before declaring for the draft. Most of his on-field experience came as a freshman in 2019.

The Falcons can keep Matt Ryan under center in 2021 but still find his eventual successor early in the draft.

Meanwhile, this draft also allows those who already found their franchise quarterbacks to benefit with big-time playmakers sliding down the board. Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals would add tight end Kyle Pitts, while the Miami Dolphins get receiver Ja'Marr Chase to help out Tua Tagovailoa.

It could lead to a lot of happy fans on draft day.