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Draft Shakeup Could Help Alabama Quarterback Mac Jones, Impact Wide Receiver DeVonta Smith

With the San Francisco 49ers moving up, the top quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft are only becoming more valuable

The draft got a lot more interesting for former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones over the weekend. 

In case you missed it on Friday, there was a big shakeup among the top picks for the 2021 NFL Draft as the San Francisco 49ers traded their 12th-overall pick, a 2022 third-round compensatory pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 for the No. 3 overall selection from the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins then moved back up to No. 6, and also acquired a fifth-round selection from the Eagles, in exchange for No. 12 overall, a fourth-round pick, and a 2022 first-round selection.

Picks 1-3 are looking like locks to be quarterbacks, especially with the 49ers moving up to No. 3 (you just don't give up two first-round picks to take a player at another position). 

Unless one of those teams are extremely high on Jones, and it seems unlikely but you never know, that means the draft will really begin at No. 4 for most Alabama players. 

Or does it?

Atlanta holds the the fourth pick, and while the Falcons may want to start grooming an eventual replacement for Matt Ryan, they have other needs that are bigger priorities. 

Carolina is at No. 8, and Denver is ninth, and both could use a quarterback, but if they want a guaranteed shot at either Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, they're going to have to move up. So could the Bears and Patriots, which means the Falcons can spend the next month holding out for the highest bidder if they want. 

At No. 5, Cincinnati was thought to need more help on the offensive line, but just signed free agent Riley Reiff. There's been a lot of talk that quarterback Joe Burrow would like to reunite with former LSU teammate Ja'Marr Chase. 

Having moved down to No. 6, the Dolphins figure to be in excellent position to reunite DeVonta Smith with Tua Tagovailoa, but Miami already has Devante Parker, Will Fuller, Preston Williams and Lynn Bowden Jr. at the position. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts may be too tough to pass up given the uniqueness of his position. 

At No. 7, the Lions definitely need some wide receiver help for new quarterback Jared Goff, but if Chase and Smith are both still available Detroit could have a very tough decision as Sports Illustrated analyst Jay Mora Jr. recently noted (see video). Jaylen Waddle would also be appealing. 

There's still a month until the draft (April 29-May 1), but it appears likely that three things will likely happen:

1. There will be some more eyebrow-raising trades near the top of the order.

2. A team will almost certainly move up to get Jones. After his Pro Day performance on Tuesday, even if he isn't considered one of the four best quarterbacks in the draft he's not going to be around long after the others are selected.  

3. We could see something similar to 2013, when Alabama players went 9-10-11 in the draft with Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker. This time it could be Smith, Patrick Surtain II and Jaylen Waddle.  

2021 NFL Draft Order 

(First three rounds)

Round 1

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

2. New York Jets

3. San Francisco 49ers (from Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans)

4. Atlanta Falcons

5. Cincinnati Bengals

6. Miami Dolphins (from Philadelphia Eagles)

7. Detroit Lions

8. Carolina Panthers

9. Denver Broncos

10. Dallas Cowboys

11. New York Giants

12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins via San Francisco 49ers)

13. Los Angeles Chargers

14. Minnesota Vikings

15. New England Patriots

16. Arizona Cardinals

17. Las Vegas Raiders

18. Miami Dolphins

19. Washington Football Team

20. Chicago Bears

21. Indianapolis Colts

22. Tennessee Titans

23. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)

26. Cleveland Browns

27. Baltimore Ravens

28. New Orleans Saints

29. Green Bay Packers

30. Buffalo Bills

31. Kansas City Chiefs

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 2

33. Jacksonville Jaguars

34. New York Jets

35. Atlanta Falcons

36. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)

37. Philadelphia Eagles

38. Cincinnati Bengals

39. Carolina Panthers

40. Denver Broncos

41. Detroit Lions

42. New York Giants

43. San Francisco 49ers

44. Dallas Cowboys

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45. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Minnesota Vikings)

46. New England Patriots

47. Los Angeles Chargers

48. Las Vegas Raiders

49. Arizona Cardinals

50. Miami Dolphins

51. Washington Football Team

52. Chicago Bears

53. Tennessee Titans

54. Indianapolis Colts

55. Pittsburgh Steelers

56. Seattle Seahawks

57. Los Angeles Rams

58. Baltimore Ravens

59. Cleveland Browns

60. New Orleans Saints

61. Buffalo Bills

62. Green Bay Packers

63. Kansas City Chiefs

64. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 3

65. Jacksonville Jaguars

66. New York Jets

67. Houston Texans

68. Atlanta Falcons

69. Cincinnati Bengals

70. Philadelphia Eagles

71. Denver Broncos

72. Detroit Lions

73. Carolina Panthers

74. Washington Football Team (from San Francisco 49ers)

75. Dallas Cowboys

76. New York Giants

77. Los Angeles Chargers

78. Minnesota Vikings

79. Las Vegas Raiders (from Arizona Cardinals)

80. Las Vegas Raiders

81. Miami Dolphins

82. Washington Football Team

83. Chicago Bears

84. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis Colts)

85. Tennessee Titans

86. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)

87. Pittsburgh Steelers

88. Los Angeles Rams

89. Cleveland Browns

90. Minnesota Vikings (from Baltimore Ravens)

91. Cleveland Browns (from New Orleans Saints)

92. Green Bay Packers

93. Buffalo Bills

94. Kansas City Chiefs

95. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

96. New England Patriots

97. Los Angeles Chargers

98. New Orleans Saints

99. Dallas Cowboys

100. Tennessee Titans

101. Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)

102. San Francisco 49ers

103. Los Angeles Rams

104. Baltimore Ravens

105. New Orleans Saints