2021 NFL Draft: Mac Jones overtakes Justin Fields as 49ers' favorite

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Josh Schrock
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Jones overtakes Fields as betting favorite to be No. 3 pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

  • Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

Back and forth we go.

With the 2021 NFL Draft a week away, the favorite to be the 49ers' pick at No. 3 overall has once again changed with Mac Jones overtaking Justin Fields as the book's choice to be Kyle Shanahan's next quarterback.

Jones was the favorite when the 49ers made their blockbuster deal to move up to No. 3, and the Crimson Tide star stayed there until Fields grabbed the lead after he held his second pro day with Shanahan and general manager John Lynch in attendance.

But Fields' reign atop the odds board didn't last long, as Jones now sits at minus-140 (bet $140 to win $100) to be the selection per PointsBet. Fields (plus-130), Trey Lance (plus-375) and presumptive No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson (plus-2600) round out the list.

While Jones isn't the sexiest name, there seems to be a good chance that he will indeed hear his name called when the 49ers go on the clock at No. 3.

The Alabama star's timing, anticipation, accuracy and quick processing speed would appear to fit what Shanahan wants in the quarterback of his offense. But Jones' athletic limitations give him a low ceiling as a top-five pick.

RELATED: Glowing NFL scouting report shows why 49ers might like Jones

While Fields and Lance might be seen by some as "riskier" picks, both provide much higher upside than Jones if the 49ers are able to get them to reach their ceiling. Fields has top-level arm talent with the ability to put the ball anywhere on the field with zip and accuracy. Add that to his elite athletic skills that allow him to extend plays outside the pocket and make second reaction throws and it should be clear that Fields is the best of the bunch after expected No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

In the end, the pick will come down to not who has the most overall talent or the highest ceiling, but who Shanahan is most comfortable with entrusting his offense and his future with the 49ers to. If that's Jones, then 49ers fans will have to trust that Shanahan, the great QB whisperer, does indeed know best.

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