The 49ers were not content with their initial first-round position in the 2021 NFL Draft, so they took matters into their own hands.
After finishing 6-10 in 2020, San Francisco owned the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft. But the Niners now find themselves inside the top three thanks to a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins. San Francisco acquired the No. 3 pick in exchange for No. 12 and No. 102 this year as well as first-round picks in both 2022 and 2023.
Who will John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan and Co. draft with their coveted selection? Below are the players with the 10 best prices at DraftKings sportsbook to be picked third overall Thursday night.
Mac Jones -400
Trey Lance +250
Justin Fields +700
Zach Wilson +4000
Kyle Pitts +5000
Ja’Marr Chase +15000
Trevor Lawrence +15000
Penei Sewell +15000
Kellen Mond +50000
Kwity Paye +50000
Best Bet: Trey Lance +250
We’re going to be honest with you: There’s very, very minimal value on this particular betting board.
First and foremost, you don’t trade a total of three first-round picks to draft a player at a position other than quarterback. Everyone and their mother knew the Niners were targeting a signal-caller when they swung the trade with the Fins, but for the sake of complete assurance, Shanahan made his team’s first-round plans clear Monday during a pre-draft press conference.
So while the likes of Pitts, Chase and Sewell all are tremendous talents with high upside and tantalizing prices, you can cross them off the list. You can do the same with Lawrence and Wilson, who are virtual locks to be selected first and second overall, respectively.
That brings us to the other top QB prospects in this year’s class: Jones, Lance and Fields (no offense, Mond). If you asked three separate scouts/evaluators, each might give you a different answer of who the 49ers should take at No. 3. But NFL insider Ian Rapoport on Monday reported San Francisco is zeroing in on Jones and Lance, so despite a tasty +700 price, Fields probably isn’t worth a roll of the dice.
Jones has been the most frequently tied to the 49ers since they moved up nine spots, and veteran draft analyst Todd McShay on Monday reported the Alabama product is Shanahan’s preference. That said, the 49ers’ personnel department reportedly is higher on Lance, which could mean a decision isn’t made until the 11th hour.
If we had to guess, San Francisco will go with Jones on Thursday night. But since the 2020 Heisman Trophy finalist comes with such a lousy price, go with Lance if you must place a wager on the No. 3 pick.