2021 NFL Draft: Alabama quarterback Mac Jones scouting report

2021 NFL Draft prospect Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

A player who improved his 2021 NFL Draft stock a ton this year is Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. Jones went into the season regarded as a likely Day 3 pick, but after a season that saw him throw for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns with just four interceptions, he is regarded as a possible late first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jones started his playing career off at The Bolles School which is one of the top private schools in the state of Florida. As a senior, he helped the Bulldogs reach the 4A State Championship game as he threw for 1,532 yards and 29 touchdowns. This strong season got college scouts’ attention as he was rated the 162nd best player by Rivals. He ended up choosing to go to Alabama over Baylor, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.

Jones took a redshirt year his first year with Alabama and saw limited playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2018. He was forced into action in the latter part of the 2019 season as he took over for an injured Tua Tagovailoa.

His best game of the 2019 season came against Michigan in the Citrus Bowl as he threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns against the Wolverines. His junior season is where he became one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. For his play this past season, Mac Jones won the Davey O’Brien Award for the best quarterback in college football, was a Heisman Trophy finalist and led Alabama to its 18th National Championship victory.


Any time a quarterback completes 77% of his passes, accuracy is going to be one of his top traits. What is so impressive with Jones though is he is not just completing bubble passes and other simple short passes. Instead, he is asked to throw downfield in Alabama’s offense. He does this extremely well and usually hit his receivers in the perfect spot. I would rank Jones as the most accurate passer in this draft, which is a big plus as it is the most important skill a quarterback can have.

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To go along with his impressive accuracy, Jones is also a very smart player. He understands the Alabama offense like the back of his hand. This strong understanding of the offense allowed him to know where all of his reads would be and is one of the main reasons the Tide’s offense was so explosive this season.

I am also impressed with Jones’s pocket presence and leadership. He is able to feel pressure and adjust accordingly by sliding up in the pocket. He has also proven to be a team leader and someone the team rallies behind. This was evident when he took over for an injured Tua Tagovailoa last year and the team kept performing at a high level.


The biggest negative with Mac Jones is his lack of athletic ability. He is an average athlete at best and is definitely someone who is going to limit what a team can do on offense. His biggest limitations come to running the ball, as he lacks the speed to be any type of a threat on quarterback designed runs.

His lack of athletic ability also limits his ability to make plays out of the pocket. This could force teams to cross him off the board if they prefer the dual-threat quarterback.

While Mac Jones displays outstanding deep ball accuracy, he only has average arm strength. Jones has the arm to throw any pass in an NFL offense, but this could affect him some when throwing in poor weather conditions.

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2021 NFL Draft stock and best fit

Mac Jones is going to have to go to the right system in order to be a solid NFL starter. The right situation for him will start with him not being asked to do things he can’t do, such as being a ball carrier or asked to make a living on sprint out type passes. He is also going to need a strong supporting cast as he lacks the talent to be a true difference-maker in the NFL. I currently see him being a late first-round pick or early second-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft.