The Big 4 quarterbacks in the NFL Draft are all but solidified: Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, and Trey Lance. The debate now is who is QB5. Mac Jones, Kyle Trask, Jamie Newman; the debate can be had for any of these quarterbacks. Mac Jones, out of Alabama, has a strong case for QB5, and his scouting report shows his strengths, weaknesses, and what I personally think of him.
Mac Jones Stats and Measurables
School: University of Alabama
Weight: 214 lbs
Passing: 4500 YDS / 77.4 Comp % / 41 TD / 4 INT
Rushing: 35 ATT / 14 YDS / .4 AVG / 1 TD
- Reading the Field: Mac Jones is one of, if not the best, at reading the field. His internal clock is incredibly fast and he can read the field at an accelerated rate. His receivers may seem to be miles open a lot of the time, but you never see Mac hold onto the ball for to long. He goes through his progressions very quickly and rarely forces it, which remains as one of the big reasons Alabama’s offense succeeded. Mac will rarely throw game crushing interceptions or make egregious mistakes, he’s calm and calculated.
- Play Action: For a quarterback that has no mobility whatsoever, Mac Jones is really good out of play action. He does not roll out, but he is great out of the play action pull, scanning the field with lightning speed and finding a short to intermediate throw before the defense understands it is not a run. Najee Harris gains a lot of attention from the defense for obvious reasons, but Mac takes every but of advantage that gives him, and just dumps it off with anticipation and understanding on how the defense develops out of the play action.
- Finesse Throws: Mac Jones may not have the strongest arm or the best deep ball, but he is great at ball placement and balls that take finesse. From hitting corner routes in the end zone, lobs to the back of the end zone, sideline toe taps, and many more, Mac Jones can make those throws with ease. Mac, in a west coast system, will exceed in finessing the ball to the outside and getting the receiver space to work with. Really good tool, as the windows in the NFL are much tighter and go away much faster.
- Accurate in Short to Medium Throws: As stated earlier, do not ask Mac to be incredibly accurate down the field, however, he is great in the short to intermediate throws. His receivers gained a lot of space in college, but if you watched closely his placement and accuracy did not require them being wide open. Even if covered, the receiver is the only one making a play on the ball, which is incredibly important in the NFL.
- Big Yard Plays Came Short: Mac Jones had a great stat line this year, let us not get that wrong. he was in Heisman contention and was one of the best quarterbacks this year, the issue is a lot of his big yards came from a DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle screen pass or short drag. These dynamic receivers on Alabama had incredible YAC yards and a five yard pass turned into a 20 to 30 yard gain easily. It was not like Mac Jones was throwing darts deep down the field, but he was throwing them into space and then the receiver just kept making defenders miss. This is not necessarily bad, but at the next level that is just not a sustainable offensive system to run.
- Lack of Big Time Throws: Mac did not make a lot of big time throws as per say Justin Fields or Zach Wilson did, more because he did not need to. There is a lot to be discovered with Mac Jones, because he was not asked to make NFL throws because his receivers were just wide open a lot of the time. It will be interesting to see how Mac adjusts to NFL defenses, but the throws he is making will just not be there at the next level.
- Outside the Pocket Play: Mac Jones is not a mobile quarterback, but even an immobile quarterback can work outside of the pocket. Mac Jones’ mechanics, internal clock, and timing go out the window once he out of the pocket. He tends to square up to the defender bracing to get hit instead of just making the throw, and it leads to inaccurate throws and development of bad mechanics when pressured. This is a major deal because Jones will receiver more pressure than ever in the NFL, and if he responds to it like he does now it will be a major issue in his career.
- Throws Hospital Shots: I believe Mac does this because he knows they will catch it anyways, but he throws balls to receivers that will end in a big hit, possibly an injuring hit, by the defense. An example of this would be a slant to DeVonta Smith with a LB coming the opposite direction to land a big hit. Luckily, DeVonta has great hands and won’t drop it, but in the NFL bigger and stronger linebackers can lay a serious hit, possibly injuring the target receiver. This can lead to poor bonds with receivers as well as bad locker room tension.
Consensus: Mac Jones has the potential to be in the NFL for a very long time. He projects as a mid tier starter who will not make bad mistakes to lose game. If your team drafts Mac Jones, you won’t lose games because of Mac, but you may lose games because he does not have that next level athleticism. Mac is very accurate and deliberate in the pocket, but ahs trouble against better defenses especially when the pocket collapses. Mac’s floor is a backup in the league that gets traded around, like Bissett, to possibly become the starter.
NFL Comp: Phillip Rivers