In what is sure to curate speculation about his best-laid plans for the 2021 NFL draft, Denver Broncos general manager George Paton will not attend the second Alabama Crimson Tide Pro Day scheduled to take place Tuesday, according to Brandon Krisztal of KOA Radio.
This means Paton will have passed up two opportunities this offseason to personally scout quarterback Mac Jones, a presumptive first-round pick in next month's draft. He missed Alabama's first Pro Day as it conflicted with the free-agent signing of cornerback Kyle Fuller.
Instead, Krisztal reported, Paton will attend Ohio State's Pro Day on Tuesday to watch, among others, potential top-10 QB prospect Justin Fields.
Both signal-callers could be options for the Broncos, who hold the No. 9 overall selection and whose lack of activity at the position leads many to believe an April 29 splash is forthcoming.
Evaluators have waffled over Jones and Fields in comparison to Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance — the speculative first, second, and third overall choices to the Jaguars, Jets, and 49ers, respectively. However, a rumor Monday indicated San Francisco's recent move up the board is for Jones, not Lance.
For his part, the two-time national champion, whom the Broncos will virtually interview next week, claims he "really likes" Pat Shurmur's offense and is intrigued by a reunion with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, his freshman-year roommate in Tuscaloosa.
Fields' forecasts are similarly scattered, with some slotting him at No. 4 to Atlanta and others predicting a tumble into the teens — or beyond. One mock (published prior to the 49ers' trade) even projected the Broncos moving up six spots to secure his services.
If Fields gets past the Falcons and Panthers (No. 8), Denver likely would give significant thought to pulling the trigger.
Depending, of course, on what Paton gleans Tuesday.
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