NFL Draft 2021: Latest Rumors, Potential Landing Spots Surrounding Top Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

NFL Draft 2021: Latest Rumors, Potential Landing Spots Surrounding Top Prospects

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    Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press

    Speculation is swirling around the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. 

    The San Francisco 49ers are in the market for a new quarterback, but they have not settled on Mac Jones, Trey Lance or Justin Fields yet. 

    Jones and Lance have been mentioned the most when it comes to the No. 3 selection, with differing reports suggesting which one the team actually prefers. 

    San Francisco's first selection isn't the only pick with rumors surrounding it, but it is under the biggest microscope because of its status. 

    The Miami Dolphins operated a trade with the 49ers for the third pick. Their current No. 6 pick could be used on a few different prospects, but it appears one is out of the running. 

49ers Conflicted over Trey Lance and Mac Jones

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    According to's Todd McShay, there are differing viewpoints within the 49ers organization whether Jones or Lance should be the No. 3 pick: 

    "I'm told that many in the 49ers' personnel department have pushed for North Dakota State QB Trey Lance but that coach Kyle Shanahan wants to draft Alabama's Mac Jones. One person I spoke to even heard that Shanahan might "acquiesce" to the scouting department on the selection, but others have said that seems unlikely. At this time of year, there is a lot of seed planting in the rumor mill, and it could certainly be the case here." 

    Jones and Lance could both be viewed as developmental prospects because of the small amount of time they spent as collegiate starters. 

    The counterpoint to the lack of starts for both players is that they played for two of the best programs in college football at the FBS and FCS levels. 

    Jones won a national championship with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and Lance was the Most Valuable Player in the 2020 FCS National Championship Game for the North Dakota State Bison.

    Either player could be seen as a replacement for Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021 or soon thereafter depending on how the Niners approach the quarterback situation. 

    Regardless of who the 49ers land, it will create a ripple effect throughout the top 10 that could trigger a few trades for quarterbacks and potentially put five signal-callers inside the first 10 picks. 

Miami Reportedly Not in Market for Penei Sewell

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, a Miami Dolphins source "would be stunned" if the team selects Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell. 

    The Dolphins offloaded Ereck Flowers to the Washington Football Team on Tuesday, but that deal should not affect their plans for the sixth overall pick. 

    Miami has second-year offensive tackle Austin Jackson in place on one end of the offensive line, and it could be more inclined to add help at wide receiver for Tua Tagovailoa. 

    Brian Flores' team could have its pick of the top wide receivers if the first five selections fall in its favor. The Atlanta Falcons could land tight end Kyle Pitts at No. 4, and the Bengals may look for more protection for Joe Burrow at No. 5 with Sewell. 

    That could lead the Dolphins to choosing between Ja'Marr Chase of LSU or Alabama's DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle. 

    Smith and Waddle have a prior connection with Tagovailoa, but Chase recorded 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns during the Tigers' title-winning season. 

    If Chase reconnects with Burrow in Cincinnati, Miami could be open to choosing Sewell, but adding a wide receiver to complement DeVante Parker and Will Fuller V should be the right direction as it tries to compete with the Buffalo Bills' deep offense in the AFC East.