Patriots Draft: Player Profile: Mac Jones, QB Alabama

In our first of sixty player profiles over the next sixty days, we will take a look at at Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.

The junior quarterback reminds me of Tom Brady in several ways. No. I am not comparing him to Brady or implying he is going to be the next Tom Brady. I am simply saying that there are similarities in their road to the NFL.

By his own admission, Brady was the fifth quarterback on Michigan’s depth chart when he arrived in Ann Arbor. Many people around the program questioned why Brady was recruited by the school despite having a great high school career and being drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB draft.

Despite his naysayers, Brady stayed at Michigan and every time he was being passed over for a superior talent like Drew Henson, he worked harder and end up starting anyway.

In many ways, Jones had a similar path at Alabama. Many were surprised he chose the Tide out of high school with the highly touted Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa already in the program and ahead of him on the depth chart. Despite that, Jones went to Alabama, bided his time and eventually got his chance to start in November of 2019 after Tagovailoa got hurt against Mississippi State. The rest is history as Jones went on to have one of the best seasons in college football history by any quarterback in 2020.

Jones isn’t as talented physically as Hurts and Tagovailoa and he doesn’t exactly pass the eye test but he is a winner. He is smart, accurate with the ball and has just enough arm strength to play in the NFL.

He leaves a lot to be desired physically in terms of his appearance but that doesn’t matter because he is physically good enough to play the position.

People said all of these same things about Brady and he proved them wrong and has gone on to have the most decorated career in NFL history.

Before you jump down my throat, I am NOT saying Jones will be the next Tom Brady. There will never be another Tom Brady again. Their back story is similar and people had and have their doubts about each of them physically. That’s just about where the comparison ends however. Mac Jones is NOT the next Tom Brady!

What he can be however is a good starting quarterback in the NFL who wins games. Despite some national pundits hesitation to give him a first round grade, I think he is a first round talent and I think he goes in the first 20 picks.

Scouting Report

Mac Jones, QB, 6-3 215

1. Arm Strength: Jones has good arm strength. He can fit the ball into tight windows and throws a tight, clean spiral. Can make throws in all three levels consistently.

2. Drop: Smooth and fluid. Jones doesn’t waste motion. Gets to the top of drop quickly, sets up and begins his read. Stays in rhythm.

3. Accuracy: Jones biggest strength in my opinion. Shows good deep ball accuracy and touch. Can consistently throw receivers open on vertical routes like corner and post routes. His accuracy doesn’t diminish on the move either.

4. Field Vision: Sees the field well. Jones keeps his head down field, manipulates coverage and can locate his second and third read consistently.

5. Running Ability: Jones is not a running threat but he can extend plays out the front and back door and throw on the run.

6. Delivery: Jones has a fluid, quick, compact delivery. He does not waste motion. Goes from carriage to the load position with ease. He has a quick enough release to beat pressure if he identifies the hot.

7. Ball Handling: Terrific on hard and token fakes. Does a good job of his head in the action to hold linebackers and sell run.

Leadership: Jones isn’t a ra ra guy. He has a quiet confidence about him and leads by example. Let’s his play do the talking. Plays with an underdog mentality. He was never suppose to be the guy at Alabama and he uses that to his advantage.