NFL Draft Rumors 2021: Are the Denver Broncos looking to trade up or draft Mac Jones at 9?

Heading towards the 2021 NFL Draft, a level of mystery encompasses the Denver Broncos’ plan. Are the Broncos targeting a defensive player, or could they have their eyes on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones? On the April 21 Draft Insiders show, Pro Football Network’s Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline discussed the latest surrounding Jones and the Broncos.

Be sure to join PFN Chief NFL Analyst Trey Wingo and Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline every week on Draft Insiders as they break down all you need to know heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. Subscribe to our PFN YouTube channel and hit the notifications icon so you can tune in live every Wednesday at 9 PM ET.

Will the Denver Broncos trade up for a quarterback?

The Broncos are one of the candidates to move up for a QB. Pauline discussed the latest he is hearing regarding the Broncos’ potential plans on draft day.

“I was told again tonight, don’t expect the Denver Broncos to trade up for a quarterback. They like Jones but where they are sitting at No. 9, they feel a good QB can fall into their laps. And if it does, then they will have the conversation as to whether they are taking the QB, whether they are taking one of the bigger cornerbacks, or whether they are going to go with Micah Parsons.”

The Crimson Tide quarterback has divided opinions in the build-up to the 2021 NFL Draft. However, he is a player that many teams have their eye on.

PFN Insider Benjamin Allbright also told PFN that he is hearing something similar regarding Jones. “If Jones is there at nine, they would likely have the conversation. However, it is not 100% that Denver takes him at nine, and it is unlikely that he is even there at that point anyway.” Allbright added, “There are likely going to be others trying to trade up at that point, and Denver would need to consider the offers.”

Could the Broncos see a team jump them for Mac Jones?

The decision that the San Francisco 49ers make with the third selection will alter the shape of the draft. Whether they select Jones, Justin Fields, or Trey Lance will have ramifications on the rest of the top 10. On the show, Pauline discussed the potential situation if Jones does get past the 49ers at No. 3.

“I think the key here is Jones. How far does he fall? Does he get past San Francisco? Does he get past Denver? If he gets out of the top 10, I could see the teams like Washington, like the Patriots, making a move up. They may have to move up in front of Denver if they want to get Jones. Those are the teams that will at least pick up the phone, see what the cost is to move up and get a quarterback.”

What could the Broncos’ decision regarding Jones mean for Drew Lock?

How the Broncos and new general manager George Paton feel about Lock will be exposed by their decision with the ninth pick. On the show, Wingo summed up the Broncos situation when he stated, “Obviously, they are very split internally on Drew Lock.”

If the Broncos were unequivocally out on Lock, it is surprising that they would not be looking to move up. Yet, the fact they are potentially even considering Jones would suggest they are not entirely comfortable with Lock.

As part of the discussion, Pauline explained the concerns that are surrounding Lock within the Broncos’ organization. Still, his response also indicated that the Broncos might not be completely down on Lock.

“As I reported here right after the Senior Bowl, there are some people who are concerned about Drew Lock. They had to slim the playbook down for him because he couldn’t basically handle the entire playbook. Whether it is just that he is incapable of doing it or whether it is that he has missed so much time with injuries. I feel like they think that Lock would be a contingency plan if they can’t get a QB early in this year’s draft.”

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Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.