2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Mac Jones

Photo: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

PROSPECT SUMMARY

Mac Jones’ athletic genes are littered throughout his family, but it all started with his father, Gordon Jones. Playing at both Florida State and later Flagler University, he went on to lead the program to an NAIA national title in 1977. His mother, Holly Jones, played tennis at Mercer College, and his older brother, Will, would follow in her footsteps, but as a soccer player (2012-2015). Jones also has a sister, Sarah Jane, who played tennis at the College of Charleston (2014-2018). Jones’ parents are both partners at the same law firm in Jacksonville, FL (Jones & McCorkle). He hopes one day to become an attorney and own his own practice down the road. Attending high school at The Bolles School, Jones was a prolific player at one of the top private school programs in Florida. As a 4-star recruit, he originally intended to sign with Kentucky, but he changed his mind, leading him to sign with the Crimson Tide.

After the injury to Tua Tagovailoa during the 10th game of the 2019 season, Jones was forced to enter the lineup as the starting QB moving forward. Showing positive signs during the team's final three games, he entered 2020 as the unquestioned starter even though the program signed a highly-touted 5-star recruit to be the heir apparent. During his junior season, Jones displayed many of the traits that he demonstrated during the three-game backstretch of his sophomore campaign. A bit of a slender thrower, Jones doesn’t possess a hint of definition or muscle in his body structure. A clear leader and very smart player at the position, he understands where all options are when going through progressions. Having a clear understanding of object reads that involve run-pass options as well as multiple level progressions, he’s well seasoned with the verbiage and variety of concepts that will be required of him on the next level. 

Containing average arm strength, he’s an underrated deep passer that’s able to layer the ball into adequate spots for perimeter targets. As an anticipatory thrower, he’s well above average with “about to be open” throws of where he releases the ball while estimating where targets are going to be. Balance and savvy within the pocket are top-tier traits, as he’s an excellent mover within the pocket and knows how to create windows of opportunities to release throws with a cleaner view than previously offered. Jones isn’t a passer that will make a living creating off-script plays outside of structure, but he has enough mobility to take advantage of the grass offered to him. Jones is a passer that will need the three P’s surrounding him (playmakers, play-caller, protection) at high-tier levels in order to see his full potential on a consistent basis, as he isn’t a thrower that will be able to overcome those elements being at a lower-tier level.

Ideal Role: Lower tier starting QB.

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Written By:

Jordan Reid

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Jordan Reid is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Gaining experience from various lenses of the game, he has previously served as a college quarterback, position coach, and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina Central University. He now serves as a Color Commentator for FloSports, covering both high school and college football games around the country while also being the host of The Reid Option Podcast.

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