Recruiting services had a hard time evaluating Mac Jones out of Jacksonville, Florida. Depending on the service, Jones was evaluated as high as No. 9 or as low as No. 30. Some services had him a solid, long-time four-star, others as a borderline three-star. So, it may be safe to assume that he is probably a true diamond in the rough: a player long on talent who needs more development and some growth.
Still, Jones was a long-time commit to the Kentucky Wildcats. The Air Raid that Stoops wants to run needs a reliable, accurate quarterback. It just so happened, so did Alabama. Probably foreseeing the roster bloodbath at the position, Nick Saban and crew started seriously courting the 6’2” 190-pounder last spring. By early summer, Jones had flipped his commitment, spurning Kentucky and other pass-happy suitors like Baylor, Oklahoma State, Cal, and Ole Miss. He now joins over a dozen other new Tide players in the early enrollee class for the Spring of 2017.
Jones seems a throwback to a different, but recent, era of Alabama quarterbacks. As you watch his film, you see a smart quarterback with good feet and pocket presence. His athleticism is underrated, clocking in at 4.91 in the 40 — just enough speed to get out of trouble or pick up some yards if a play breaks down. That is not his game, though. He is at his best stepping up into the pocket and lacing the ball in tight windows. He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but he can effectively stretch the field, and his accuracy and touch on the ball may be the best of any quarterback on the roster.
Jones, like Tua and Jalen, is noted for being an excellent leader on the field. Coupled with his accuracy and high football IQ (not a euphemism for “white,” ESPN) he is an asset to a pro-style passing game and ball control offense. He is also fearless: on the field, in game situations, and he has repeatedly stated that he’s unafraid of the competition on the depth chart — refreshing in an age of quick transfers as players don’t immediately get the start.
Jones will need to put some meat on his bones. He beefed up from 175 to 189.5 during his senior season at the Bolles School, so we have an indication that his frame is capable of additional bulk. Still, 190 is light for an SEC quarterback. Jones will also need to work on putting more mustard on shorter routes, where it often seems he is aiming the ball and trying to guide it rather than making the throw with deliberation (think Jacob Coker.) More film is located here (embed disabled,) and there are far more clips on YouTube and other services.
Mac Jones was an invitee to the Elite 11 Camp and the Nike Opening. He will definitely get a look over the coming months, particularly given Alabama’s inconsistency in the passing game last season and inability to reliably move the chains against elite competition.
It’s called a quarterback competition for a reason.
Welcome aboard, Mac Jones. Roll Tide
Ed. Note: I am running to pick up some parts for the Gothlawmobile this morning. But, I’ll be back in around 9:00 Central, so a JP will be on its way shortly thereafter. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for giving us your #clicks. -E