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What Anonymous NFL Scouts, Execs Say About Mac Jones

Alabama football quarterbacks Mac Jones and Tua Tagovailoa.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 17: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after passing for a touchdown against the Citadel Bulldogs with Mac Jones #10 at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Ahead of the season, Mac Jones wasn't expected to be a major 2021 NFL Draft prospect. He defied the odds, turning in perhaps the greatest season in Alabama football history, leading the team to the national championship.

The draft is as quarterback-heavy at the top as we've seen in a long time. Trevor Lawrence is locked in as the No. 1 pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota State's Trey Lance, and BYU's Zach Wilson are all considered potential top 10 picks as well.

After a season in which he threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns, and just four interceptions, and looked like a totally composed veteran, Jones finds himself in the mix at the top of the first round as well. He may not have quite the same arm as Wilson, or the impressive athleticism as Fields, but it is impossible to deny what he showed this year, albeit surrounded by stars, including Heisman winner DeVonta Smith at wide receiver.

"Guy's accurate. He's a friggin' winner. He's a real dude," an anonymous NFC scout told, for a piece about the 2021 NFL Draft's top quarterbacks. "Obviously, his teammates (Smith and Jaylen Waddle, both projected first-round wide receivers) are coming out and talking about how they'd play for him over Tua (Tagovailoa)—I don't think it's a slight to Tua, these guys have had a lot of success with Mac as the guy. He's got a chance to be a stud in the league."

Of course, not everyone is sold on Mac Jones at the next level. He has the intangibles on the field, but he probably won't "wow" anyone with his physical gifts the way that some of his rivals in this draft will.

"Mac Jones, to me, is kind of the opposite of Fields, where he has that stuff in terms of the anticipation and the accuracy and reading the defenses," an AFC executive said. "Where he comes up short is I don't think the talent level is there, from either an arm-strength standpoint or an athleticism standpoint."


"He's not in that same conversation with the other guys," an AFC scout said. "He's going to distribute the ball for you. I think he makes (good) decisions. What level of athlete is he? What can he do mobility-wise? I don't think he's got the arm talent that those upper-level guys have. But I think he's probably just as sharp, maybe a little bit more than those guys mentally."

It only takes one team to fall in love with him, and even with the presence of Lawrence, Fields, Lance, and Wilson, there are way more than four teams with a need at quarterback. Don't expect Mac Jones to last too long when the draft starts on April 29.