Potential Bears 2021 NFL Draft Targets: Alabama QB Mac Jones

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Potential Bears 2021 NFL Draft Targets: Alabama QB Mac Jones

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are approaching what might be GM Ryan Pace’s most important draft. It could also very well be his last. With holes to fill throughout the roster and eight picks at his disposal, Pace sets out on a weekend in search of impact talent and players with upside. With all eyes on the 2021 NFL Draft, let’s check out some of the more promising draft-eligible prospects who have been rumored to be persons of interest.

Previous targets: QB Justin Fields, OL Teven Jenkins
Today: Michael McCorkle “Mac” Jones, QB, Alabama

Performance, Rankings, Accomplishments

•   Measurements: 6-3, 217 pounds, 32.625-inch arms, 9.75-inch hands

•   2020 stats: 13 games (13 starts), 311/402 (77.4%), 4,500 yards, 41 TD, 4 INT; 35 carries, 14 yards, 1 TD

•   Career stats: 30 games (17 starts), 413/556 (74.3%), 6,126 yards, 56 TD, 7 INT; 54 carries, 42 yards, 2 TD

•   Accomplishments: Heisman Trophy finalist (2020), Consensus All-American (2020) Dave O’Brien Award (2020), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (2020), Manning Award (2020), First-team All-SEC (2020), Senior Bowl (2020)

•   Position ranking: 5th (ESPN), 5th (Pro Football Focus), 5th (The Draft Network), 5th (Pro Football Network)

The NFL.com Draft Profile Says…

“His accuracy and ball placement stand out and he throws a very catchable football with consistent touch on it.”

You can read the full profile here.

Bears Connection

The Bears sent Bill Lazor and John DeFilippo to Alabama’s Pro Day, presumably to get an eyes-on look at Jones. Shortly after that, Jones confirmed having a formal meeting with the Bears, which he described as “great.”

Highlights

It’s just one year of tape. And Jones was throwing to an embarrassment of riches at receiver, handing off to an elite college football running back, and was protected by a line that had more NFL-caliber players than some pro lines. But man … some of those throws are darn pretty.

Where’s the Fit?

This sentence from his NFL.com Draft profile written by Lance Zierlein stands out: “The tape shows too much predetermined decision-making about where he wants to go with the football rather than letting the coverage and his progressions speak to him.”

One of the biggest criticisms of Mitchell Trubisky’s time with the Bears is that there were too many times in which he didn’t read through his progressions in situations when doing so could’ve resulted in a better play result. That Jones’ tape shows too much of this in Zierlein’s eyes makes me wonder if some of the chatter surrounding Jones’ processes is overblown. And yet, Jones is still one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in this class.

Given the obvious caveats of limited sample size, Jones has plenty of desirable strengths. The accuracy and touch he shows is impressive. His limiting risky plays is re-assuring, especially if he were to play in Chicago where the expectation is still for the defense to do some heavy lifting. And in the end, torching SEC defenses while playing in the Alabama pressure-cooker will put some points in your favor. I’m not totally comfortable with the idea of trading up into the top-5 to take Jones. But I can understand why a team would take the risk.

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)


Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.