Denver Broncos draft rumors: Mac Jones buzz building if 49ers pass

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Mac Jones. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft: Mac Jones. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos could be in the market for a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft. At this point, nobody knows if they will actually end up taking one, but there is a chance that George Paton could use his first-ever selection as general manager of the Denver Broncos on the game’s most important position.

For the better part of the last month, the buzz surrounding the San Francisco 49ers and the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has centered around Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. That has come as a surprise if not a shock to just about everybody.

With that being said, Jones was getting top-10 buzz before the 49ers struck that trade with the Carolina Panthers reportedly really liking what they had seen from Jones when they coached him at the Senior Bowl in January.

There were even some reports that Jones’ “floor” in the 2021 Draft was 8 overall to the Panthers.

Could his floor actually be 9 overall to the Denver Broncos?

It’s not impossible. In fact, some of the latest buzz has the pendulum swinging Trey Lance’s way for the San Francisco 49ers, opening up the possibility that Mac Jones will drop beyond the third overall pick. In the event that happens, Jones could be of significant interest to the Denver Broncos.

In a mock draft on NFL Network, James Palmer said that he thinks the Broncos would take Jones over Trey Lance if both were on the board.

Denver Broncos insider Mike Klis has Mac Jones number one on his list of nine targets for the team in the 2021 Draft.

Benjamin Allbright, an NFL insider with 850 KOA in Denver as well as Pro Football Network, had this to say (along with his PFN colleague Tony Pauline) about the possibility of Jones.

This is something to keep an eye on. While Jones doesn’t have the athleticism of Justin Fields or Trey Lance, he is accurate and has shown tremendous ability to make throws under pressure, read coverages, and adapt quickly to an NFL playbook.

Picking Jones would not thrill the entire Denver Broncos fan base, but he would be a very interesting selection. What I have seen from Jones on tape is a first-round quarterback. He delivers the ball accurately to all levels of the field, he makes throws under pressure and while getting hit, he has been tremendously productive, and he’s a smart player.

That is not to take anything away from the other quarterbacks in this class. Trey Lance and Justin Fields could make sense for the Denver Broncos as well.

Fair or not, Fields is getting dinged by NFL teams because the Ohio State offensive system has not proven to translate well for QBs coming to the NFL, and Fields is almost too by the book with his progressions rather than playing by instinct.

With Lance, the risk is obviously that he’s barely started any games at the position dating back to his high school days by comparison to other guys here. He doesn’t have a ton of reps and North Dakota State heavily emphasized the run with Lance at QB. He may have a Lamar Jackson-like ceiling, but what is his floor?

The 49ers may be willing to bet on the Jackson-like ceiling. The Broncos might, too.

Either way, the Denver Broncos seem to have an interest in Mac Jones despite George Paton not going to see him at the Senior Bowl or either of his pro day throwing sessions.