Pats Draft Rd.1/15: QB Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones

Cellar-Door

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Well fortunately, Jones is very accurate, reads the field very well, and should have excellent protection from NE's offensive line.
maybe? And that is my point.

I was very down on Jones early. As the draft came along I was less down on him, I saw more tape and realized he was better than I thought (I thought he was a better Jake Fromm, a guy you take 2nd/3rd round when he was a significantly better Jake Fromm with a better arm too). I think he's a 1/2 round talent but taking him at 15 is reasonable.

What I am cautioning against is this:

Jones was elite level accurate in college, and he read the field pretty well in college. That doesn't at all mean he'll have elite NFL accuracy or read the field at a top level in the NFL, they are both big jumps.
Lots of guys were very accurate in college then couldn't continue that in the tighter windows and faster throws of the NFL, plenty of guys were super smart field readers in college and couldn't transition to the more complex NFL.

I think Jones went to probably the 2nd best spot in the league for him, and i have confidence he'll be a decent NFL player, but I think people are way too eager to disregard potential downside and way too eager to just assume everything that worked as QB of the most talented offense in CFB history will translate 1 to 1. Non-mobile QBs have less room for error, and there is a lot of error in moving from college to the pros.

Edit- also I think a reason I was down on him was that I was super high on Tua and didn't really pay attention to some of the concerns people had about him. Then I saw him in the NFL and all the things people noted about concerns (some/many of which he shares with Jones) were magnified, so I probably overadjusted with Jones.
 
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Years ago, you could absolutely demolish QBs, in or out of the pocket. There was no QB sliding for safety. And there was a ton of $$ invested in QBs, and the last thing you wanted them to do was to run a lot and get crushed. Poof - there goes your investment.
Yeah, I remember when Grogan first entered the league--very mobile, did a lot of damage with his legs, really fun to watch. It didn't take long for him to get seriously beat up and the mobility was gone.
 

tims4wins

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I think that we all know that a sizeable percentage of fans will be calling for him to start all season, particularly after a bad game by Cam or even a loss that's no fault of Cam's. That's the backup QBs thing, when he's not an obvious clipboard holder like Hoyer.

But I do think that you're right that expectations will be moderated somewhat. If they had traded up and spent future picks to do it, the pressure would have been greater.
Agree all around.
 

Shelterdog

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As a guy who needed 6 months and a total of 9 games to get why Jones is that good I'd like to weigh in here.

[thoughtful post snipped for space]
At the end of the day it's like all of life--pros are just a little different. (I remember this every time I watch the college championship games where they have the coaches roundtable--they all just see so much more on every single play than I do.) I'll bet that even just watching a kind of crappy game once Payton or BB can get an ok sense of some of the things a college QB is doing (or not doing) pre snap, how they are diagnosing coverages, if their initial reads are roughly correct based on the coverage and route concepts, etc. And they can get a good sense of that from talking to coaches--none of us get to be in a room and ask a coach how their guy reads coverages and have the coach kind of answer without answering by saying he's more of a see-it throw it guy.

And none of us know how many of a QB's teammates went to his birthday party.

With tons of effort and talking to friends and research we can figure out some of this stuff but it's just so so hard to do it right. Which is fine--it's fun to try and figure all this out because it is hard and rewarding when you watch college football or tape and actually get it and and say wow, that Walker Little really does move well for a guy his size (or Alex Carter couldn't cover a 4 square foot patch of floor with a five square foot rug ) and be right. (I always go with the Stanfurd guys)
 

Super Nomario

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Isn't the theory that because of changes in the CBA to the amount of practicing and team activities, and that's why developing these players has become so much harder? A Google search turns up the article I'm probably thinking about (but it seems like just some musings out loud by people around the league):

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/1/17/18186326/tom-brady-drew-brees-golden-generation-aging-quarterbacks
I think the argument basically is... you can't develop them now. I don't really agree, but it is based on the idea that the changes in the league, in particular things like practice time, OTAs, etc. make it much harder for players who aren't mobile to develop the skills that their predecessors did as easily, and that the changes in athleticism and scheme on defense mean that if you lack those qualities you get so beat up and fail so much early that you're never really able to get the experience you need.
I'm aware that's the argument, but a) I don't find it terribly persuasive (versus say, a null hypothesis that it's just a run of bad luck with a small sample in an enterprise fraught with failure) and b) even to the extent there may be a kernel of truth there, I don't think the conclusion is "developing pocket-passing QBs is hard, let's go shopping!"

I also am not sure the story here is fully written. Almost all the great QBs developed beyond the point where you'd reasonably expect them to develop, and we don't know which of the current 20-something QBs that will apply to. Would it be shocking to see, say, Jared Goff have an impressive second act in Detroit, while Kyler Murray never really gets better than he is now?

I think it's a flawed argument with a kernel of truth in it. I think what it really means is that mobile QBs have more margin for error, and that a pocket QB needs to be VERY accurate, and read the field very well, and... be in a system with good protection. Where a mobile QB can get away with 1 or 2 of the 3. I also do wonder though if part of it as well is... QBs start day 1 so much recently. Brady, Rivers, a lot of those guys sat 1-2 years, now maybe nowadays there just aren't enough reps in practice to develop a QB and keep your starter sharp, but I don't believe that entirely. I think it may be harder, but it can be done. Plus a smart guy gets a personal coach who isn't a team employee who helps him (even Brady did).
Getting to sit helps, I think, and I'm hopeful Mac will be afforded that opportunity here. The stories we've heard of the extra work he's put in is encouraging; obviously he'll have to keep doing that.
 

Shelterdog

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I'm aware that's the argument, but a) I don't find it terribly persuasive (versus say, a null hypothesis that it's just a run of bad luck with a small sample in an enterprise fraught with failure) and b) even to the extent there may be a kernel of truth there, I don't think the conclusion is "developing pocket-passing QBs is hard, let's go shopping!"
Isn't the answer pretty obvious here? Brady and Brees and Ryan and not all that long ago Manning were super successful without being all that mobile so there's no particular reason to think the right pure pocket passer can't be successful if it's the right guy, right system, and has enough time to develop.
 

BaseballJones

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maybe? And that is my point.

I was very down on Jones early. As the draft came along I was less down on him, I saw more tape and realized he was better than I thought (I thought he was a better Jake Fromm, a guy you take 2nd/3rd round when he was a significantly better Jake Fromm with a better arm too). I think he's a 1/2 round talent but taking him at 15 is reasonable.

What I am cautioning against is this:

Jones was elite level accurate in college, and he read the field pretty well in college. That doesn't at all mean he'll have elite NFL accuracy or read the field at a top level in the NFL, they are both big jumps.
Lots of guys were very accurate in college then couldn't continue that in the tighter windows and faster throws of the NFL, plenty of guys were super smart field readers in college and couldn't transition to the more complex NFL.

I think Jones went to probably the 2nd best spot in the league for him, and i have confidence he'll be a decent NFL player, but I think people are way too eager to disregard potential downside and way too eager to just assume everything that worked as QB of the most talented offense in CFB history will translate 1 to 1. Non-mobile QBs have less room for error, and there is a lot of error in moving from college to the pros.

Edit- also I think a reason I was down on him was that I was super high on Tua and didn't really pay attention to some of the concerns people had about him. Then I saw him in the NFL and all the things people noted about concerns (some/many of which he shares with Jones) were magnified, so I probably overadjusted with Jones.
Yeah you may be right. Or your first assessment may be right. There's so much that's unknown here. What gives me hope are:

(1) He seems to have the right skill set to be a very successful NFL passer.
(2) Some of the brightest people in football are very high on him.
(3) He appears to have a great work ethic and competitiveness, so he will likely be a very very driven guy.
(4) He's going to play for the best HC and OC in football, with a terrific group of offensive players around him, so he's set up to be successful.

If he ends up bombing, then all those concerns will have come to fruition. But I think there's good reason to believe that he'll be successful.

And your larger point that the NFL is a huge leap from college is spot-on. Most players don't make that leap successfully. For all his strengths, Jones could easily be one of those. But I think there's a pretty decent chance he can do it.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'm aware that's the argument, but a) I don't find it terribly persuasive (versus say, a null hypothesis that it's just a run of bad luck with a small sample in an enterprise fraught with failure) and b) even to the extent there may be a kernel of truth there, I don't think the conclusion is "developing pocket-passing QBs is hard, let's go shopping!"
I think it is a numbers thing. There's a lot of uncertainty in finding quality NFL pocket QBs, always has been and always will be, and the shifting of top colleges towards mobile QBs has made the pocket ones harder to find. At the same time, NFL teams have gone towards mobility because its measurable and reduces some risk.

I just don't buy that "NFL teams can't train up pocket QBs anymore" is a thing. Brady was a 6th round pick because no one knew he had it in him, not even the Patriots. So there's a risk element to it.
 

SMU_Sox

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At the end of the day it's like all of life--pros are just a little different. (I remember this every time I watch the college championship games where they have the coaches roundtable--they all just see so much more on every single play than I do.) I'll bet that even just watching a kind of crappy game once Payton or BB can get an ok sense of some of the things a college QB is doing (or not doing) pre snap, how they are diagnosing coverages, if their initial reads are roughly correct based on the coverage and route concepts, etc. And they can get a good sense of that from talking to coaches--none of us get to be in a room and ask a coach how their guy reads coverages and have the coach kind of answer without answering by saying he's more of a see-it throw it guy.

And none of us know how many of a QB's teammates went to his birthday party.

With tons of effort and talking to friends and research we can figure out some of this stuff but it's just so so hard to do it right. Which is fine--it's fun to try and figure all this out because it is hard and rewarding when you watch college football or tape and actually get it and and say wow, that Walker Little really does move well for a guy his size (or Alex Carter couldn't cover a 4 square foot patch of floor with a five square foot rug ) and be right. (I always go with the Stanfurd guys)
Oh for sure. I don't know what percent of a prospect hitting or not is due to their mental makeup but I would argue it is one of the 2-3 most critical factors. Worth ethic on and off the field is huge. And as an evaluator who sits on his ass and has to follow bread crumb trails from 3-4 different draft guides and 5-10 different podcasts it's next to impossible to know enough about a guy. Like Barmore for example. You listen to Mike Renner and his 2-for-1 draft and he says he's had multiple NFL people (coaches and front offices) texting or talking with him that Barmore is "uncoachable". Now what the hell do you do with that? Stone Forsythe dropped all the way to the 7th round because NFL evaluators thought he was mentally soft. As an outsider... again for the people in the back... you have no way of knowing something like that.

Walker Little is the other side of the unknowable coin - medicals. Another thing we on the outside have 0 information on other than so and so was injured. I liked his one game of tape in 2019 and he had a lot of good notes from 2018 but how do you judge a guy based on 23-24 snaps in over 2 years?

The 2021 draft was probably the hardest time I have had as an outside evaluator compared to 2019 and 2020. I am looking forward to 2022 already and a stable college football season for a much smoother process.


Back on topic though:
Was thinking more on what the offense would look like on a team with Cam and Jones. That got me thinking about RPOs. I wonder if the Pats are going to continue to use and bake-in RPOs with Mac. It might help him get into a rhythm at the pro level. But RPOs were never a staple with Brady and with Cam they worked better when he was part of that option. Not sure anyone here wants to see Mac do that BUT the Patriots could probably seamlessly pass the Cam offense to Mac just without the QB run options. Mac is a good QB sneaker too FWIW. In 3-4 years I would imagine Mac running the same core concepts Brady did. Same styles of player down to the uncanny pocket awareness and anticipation skills. Mac makes more 50/50 throws than Brady did which would benefit a guy like Keal. Someone like Mac might even help bring out the best in Harry. Is that a stretch? Yeah probably but damn if I feel like being even more down on Harry than I already am.
 

rodderick

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If non-mobile QBs can still succeed (as they clearly can), but the league has done a poor job developing them lately, to me, that points to "we need to a do a better job developing non-mobile QBs" instead of "teams shouldn't draft non-mobile QBs."

I see a lot of this argument as an extension of the argument that's been happening for 25 years or more. Basically my entire football fandom, I've been hearing about how QBs that can run are the future and Michael Vick or RGIII / Wilson / Kaepernick / Cam or whoever was going to take over the whole league and the non-mobile guys were going to go away. The non-mobile guys haven't gone away, so now people are pointing to the lack of non-mobile young guys. To me it looks like an aesthetic preference masquerading as a logical argument.

EDIT: FWIW, I didn't love McCorkle's tape either - that deep sideline ball just dies.
Brady aside, the top QBs in the league are Mahomes, Rodgers, Allen, Watson, Wilson and Jackson. The non-mobile guys have pretty much gone away.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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You know who blows a hole in this argument? Justin Herbert, who averaged 15 rush YPG this season. He averaged 8 rush YPG his last 2 full seasons in college.

Mac Jones didnt run because he didnt have to. And while it's certainly not his strength, hes not a statue. He has enough speed to scramble for firsts as needed. Theres proof of that in the videos in this very thread. He clearly looks faster than the Brady, Manning, Rivers types. He can move a little bit.

Arguing that QBs today cant succeed if they are really good at throwing the football - which is a much more important skill for a QB than mobility, and also a skill they will rely on over mobility because it is significantly more effective - is a weird argument. I'd bet on Justin Herbert having a long, healthy, successful career over someone like Lamar Jackson.

Edit - also, teams that draft young QBs generally do so because their team sucks. Mobile QBs have a lower ramp up time than pocket passers because they can lean on their speed. It lends to earlier success, but it doesnt last forever. Its fools gold, and we often see the short term mobile guys lose out to the long term pocket passers who develop.
 
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DJnVa

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You know who blows a hole in this argument? Justin Herbert, who averaged 15 rush YPG this season. He averaged 8 rush YPG his last 2 full seasons in college.

Mac Jones didnt run because he didnt have to.
Yes. Why would Sark need a QB to run when he could do what he did WITHOUT RUNNING.

And look at Tua's numbers from college:

2017: 133 yards
2018: 190 yards
2019: 17 yards

What changed? Sark's offense didn't need any running from his QB.
 

JM3

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Herbert's skillet is much more similar to Josh Allen than Mac Jones.
 

BaseballJones

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uvvFgwBpsQ


0:00 - senses the rush, avoids it, and scrambles for 19 yards, outrunning linebackers along the way. Doesn't look immobile to me there.
0:21 - throws a perfect pass as he rolls to his right
0:27 - avoids the rush, scrambles for close to a first down
0:40 - steps up to avoid the rush, throws a deep out, back-shoulder on the run with *perfect* placement for a 31-yard gain - shows off his pocket awareness, mobility, arm strength, and accuracy
0:57 - pressure up the middle, avoids it, and as he's backing away, throws across his body over the middle, a dart for 14 yards and a first down
1:10 - drifting to his left, throws an absolute dart to Smith in the back of the end zone, with a guy draped all over him, for a TD...I don't see any arm issues here.
2:01 - senses pressure, moves up, jukes a linebacker or DB, and runs for nearly a first down
2:17 - avoids all kinds of pressure, finds an opening, and runs for 14 yards
2:35 - deftly avoids an on coming pass rusher to complete a short pass
3:00 - rolls right away from pressure, has a chance to run for some yards, but instead flips a beautiful touch pass to the WR down the sideline
3:17 - rolls right, tucks it, makes a move on a defender, and dives for a first down. Doesn't exactly look like Lamar Jackson on this play, but it's effective.
3:40 - rolls right away from the pressure and picks up about 7 yards before smartly sliding
4:21 - huge pressure up the middle, he sees it right away, rolls left away from pressure, and completes a short pass moving to his left
4:35 - again, lots of pressure, he tucks it and runs left for about 10 yards and a first down
4:46 - rolls right and throws a dart on the run right to Smith at the pylon; absolutely pinpoint throw on the run
5:10 - steps up to avoid the rush and flips a short pass for a big gain
5:21 - steps up to avoid the rush, tucks it and picks up about 8-9 yards
5:34 - even as McDonough talks about Mac's great feel in the pocket ("a lot like Tom Brady"), he steps away from the blitz and throws across the field to Harris for a touchdown
5:59 - rolls left away from pressure and throws a nice touch pass for a good gain
6:08 - big pressure, steps up, runs for 10 yards, diving for a first down

So I see here a guy who is capable of running. He's absolutely NOT a statue in any shape, matter, or form. He's NOT an elite runner like Lamar Jackson. Nobody will mistake him for that. But he's also a much much much better runner than Brady or Manning or Brees. He's got actual mobility and when he runs he looks fairly athletic out there. He also throws beautifully on the run, either to his right or his left. He's got excellent pocket presence and reads where the pressure is coming from. Yes he has a great offensive line, but these clips show that even when the protection breaks down, Jones is able to make something positive out of it. And he also shows good (not elite, but definitely solid) arm strength, with a few of these throws having excellent zip on them.

I look at this and see a guy with an NFL skill set. I don't care if he isn't an electric runner. I want my QB to make good decisions, be highly accurate, avoid sacks, make smart plays, be able to run when needed, which hopefully won't be much, and displays toughness - which he does.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Herbert's skillet is much more similar to Josh Allen than Mac Jones.
That's a nice strawman, sir, but I never compared Herbert to Mac Jones.

I'm of the opinion that we see so many young guys break from the pocket because pocket awareness is a skill that most people can only be good at by years of repetition. So it really shouldnt be a surprise that young guys opt to break for the sideline.

Guys are given the OK to break the pocket instead of being forced to work it. I wonder how that will impact the longterm ability for these guys to work the pocket when they get older and their speed/agility declines.

I'd be really interested to know what the net benefit is from guys scrambling out of the pocket. We see the end result of a scramble to the sideline and, regardless of if the pass is complete or not, we think "that guy just extended the play. That's good." People see it as either a positive or even outcome (scramble, throw, throw away) vs a negative outcome (sack).

But how many plays were left on the table because they couldn't maneuever the pocket? The time spent leaving the pocket, not looking downfield, not having your feet set, removing WR options that are no longer viable across the body...there are potential routes that opened up or receivers that shook free in that time. How many plays or options were missed because they are mobile and not working the pocket?

Getting a QB like Mahomes is, of course, the ideal situation. Hes savvy enough to know when to hang in and work a pocket and when to bail. Hes the best of both worlds. But most QBs arent Mahomes (duh).

Anyway. I'm finished on the toilet. I'll stop typing now.
 
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rodderick

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You know who blows a hole in this argument? Justin Herbert, who averaged 15 rush YPG this season. He averaged 8 rush YPG his last 2 full seasons in college.

Mac Jones didnt run because he didnt have to. And while it's certainly not his strength, hes not a statue. He has enough speed to scramble for firsts as needed. Theres proof of that in the videos in this very thread. He clearly looks faster than the Brady, Manning, Rivers types. He can move a little bit.

Arguing that QBs today cant succeed if they are really good at throwing the football - which is a much more important skill for a QB than mobility, and also a skill they will rely on over mobility because it is significantly more effective - is a weird argument. I'd bet on Justin Herbert having a long, healthy, successful career over someone like Lamar Jackson.

Edit - also, teams that draft young QBs generally do so because their team sucks. Mobile QBs have a lower ramp up time than pocket passers because they can lean on their speed. It lends to earlier success, but it doesnt last forever. Its fools gold, and we often see the short term mobile guys lose out to the long term pocket passers who develop.
I just think we're underrating just how hard it is to be really good at processing, being accurate, on time and on rhythm and also overrating how deficient in those attributes mobile QBs are. We're not necessarily comparing Mac Jones to Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray. Does Jones have an advantage in "traditional" QB skills over the four guys that went before him in the draft? I don't necessarily think so, at least not as a prospect.

Also, Justin Herbert can move and has a cannon arm, he 100% fits the "new age QB" mold, even if he doesn't run much.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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So I see here a guy who is capable of running. He's absolutely NOT a statue in any shape, matter, or form. He's NOT an elite runner like Lamar Jackson. Nobody will mistake him for that. But he's also a much much much better runner than Brady or Manning or Brees. He's got actual mobility and when he runs he looks fairly athletic out there.
That's what I see too.

I think there is a huge fallacy underlying this whole debate, which involves thinking about mobility as a dichotomy and the world of QBs as divided into mobile and non-mobile guys. Mobility is much better thought of as an attribute measured on a scale. And it looks to me like Jones is a guy that falls somewhere in the middle, probably not too far away on that scale from players like Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow, Carson Wentz, or Justin Herbert. That's what their combine measurements (40 and 3 cone at least) would say. And that's what the tape suggests to me too, in the rare occasions where Jones actually has to run or rapidly escape the pocket. I suspect that the biggest reason people have concluded that Jones is qualitatively different from those players (a "non-mobile" QB whereas they are "mobile" guys) is that he had very few college rushing yards. But that is what will happen when you play in a system with no designed QB runs and an offensive line that puts you into very few scramble situations compared to other college QBs.
 

Marbleheader

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I don't understand the 'red shirt' reports. If Cam completely sucks again or gets hurt, and Mac is your best option, are they really going to punt another season? I don't buy it. Maybe there's little chance he starts the year as QB1, but it doesn't make sense that he's not going to play under any circumstances.
 

BaseballJones

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That's what I see too.

I think there is a huge fallacy underlying this whole debate, which involves thinking about mobility as a dichotomy and the world of QBs as divided into mobile and non-mobile guys. Mobility is much better thought of as an attribute measured on a scale. And it looks to me like Jones is a guy that falls somewhere in the middle, probably not too far away on that scale from players like Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow, Carson Wentz, or Justin Herbert. That's what their combine measurements (40 and 3 cone at least) would say. And that's what the tape suggests to me too, in the rare occasions where Jones actually has to run or rapidly escape the pocket. I suspect that the biggest reason people have concluded that Jones is qualitatively different from those players (a "non-mobile" QB whereas they are "mobile" guys) is that he had very few college rushing yards. But that is what will happen when you play in a system with no designed QB runs and an offensive line that puts you into very few scramble situations compared to other college QBs.
Right. I mean who would you rather have run with the ball if you’re Saban: Mac Jones or Smith or Harris or Waddle? I mean, Jones’ job was to get the ball into the hands of much much better runners. Him running was a “break glass in case of emergency” kind of thing but when called upon to do it, he did it just fine, thank you.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I don't understand the 'red shirt' reports. If Cam completely sucks again or gets hurt, and Mac is your best option, are they really going to punt another season? I don't buy it. Maybe there's little chance he starts the year as QB1, but it doesn't make sense that he's not going to play under any circumstances.
That seemed to be mainly Lombardi just speculating.

If you read/listen to his comments more fully, he was basically just saying that BB won't automatically hand Jones the job and he'll go with whoever gives him the best chance to win football games. Which is pretty obvious.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I just think we're underrating just how hard it is to be really good at processing, being accurate, on time and on rhythm and also overrating how deficient in those attributes mobile QBs are. We're not necessarily comparing Mac Jones to Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray. Does Jones have an advantage in "traditional" QB skills over the four guys that went before him in the draft? I don't necessarily think so, at least not as a prospect.

Also, Justin Herbert can move and has a cannon arm, he 100% fits the "new age QB" mold, even if he doesn't run much.
I think this is all fair. I also guess I was a little quick to lump mobile QBs that dont run for yards into the same category as traditional pocket passers. That was dishonest by me.

Like you said, I think the traits needed to be a successful pocket passer are much harder to come by or easier to overlook. I feel like were starting to look at "pocket passers" with the same negative view we ascribe to "game managers".

Football has spent the last 25 years evolving and understanding how passing is significantly more explosive than running. Just like the NBA leveraging the three.

Of course it makes infinitly more sense to break from the pocket than take a sack. But were seeing more players use it as a crutch because they struggle to make it past their first/second read. Or because they're internal clock/pocket presence isnt fine tuned, so they lean on scrambling.

The game is constantly evolving. But with the even higher focus on passing, it feels like common sense to me that the old school idea of keeping your eyes down field, shuffling your feet in the pocket, and letting routes develop at all depths is still the best way to be efficient and successful. The alternative may be exciting, but I think alot is left on the field when your strategy is, "3 seconds then go. Cut your options in half because you scrambled to one side of the field, rely on chaos and improvisation."

I guess I'm just in the camp that the improviser mentality is bad for the longterm growth of a player - because they get away from fine tuning their pocket presence and wont have that skill as they age - as well as the longterm health of a player. And we still dont really know what plays they leave in the field because they scramble. For all we know, breaking the pocket is a net negative for certain QBs.
 

JM3

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You know who blows a hole in this argument? Justin Herbert, who averaged 15 rush YPG this season. He averaged 8 rush YPG his last 2 full seasons in college.

Mac Jones didnt run because he didnt have to. And while it's certainly not his strength, hes not a statue. He has enough speed to scramble for firsts as needed. Theres proof of that in the videos in this very thread. He clearly looks faster than the Brady, Manning, Rivers types. He can move a little bit.

Arguing that QBs today cant succeed if they are really good at throwing the football - which is a much more important skill for a QB than mobility, and also a skill they will rely on over mobility because it is significantly more effective - is a weird argument. I'd bet on Justin Herbert having a long, healthy, successful career over someone like Lamar Jackson.

Edit - also, teams that draft young QBs generally do so because their team sucks. Mobile QBs have a lower ramp up time than pocket passers because they can lean on their speed. It lends to earlier success, but it doesnt last forever. Its fools gold, and we often see the short term mobile guys lose out to the long term pocket passers who develop.
Are you not using Justin Herbert here as an example of why Mac Jones will be successful?

Herbert's skillet is much more similar to Josh Allen than Mac Jones.
All I'm saying here is that Herbert is taller, more athletic & has a much stronger arm than Mac so I don't see how he "blows a hole" in any argument.

Of course, that's not even my argument to begin with, but yeah.

That's a nice strawman, sir, but I never compared Herbert to Mac Jones.

I'm of the opinion that we see so many young guys break from the pocket because pocket awareness is a skill that most people can only be good at by years of repetition. So it really shouldnt be a surprise that young guys opt to break for the sideline.

Guys are given the OK to break the pocket instead of being forced to work it. I wonder how that will impact the longterm ability for these guys to work the pocket when they get older and their speed/agility declines.

I'd be really interested to know what the net benefit is from guys scrambling out of the pocket. We see the end result of a scramble to the sideline and, regardless of if the pass is complete or not, we think "that guy just extended the play. That's good." People see it as either a positive or even outcome (scramble, throw, throw away) vs a negative outcome (sack).

But how many plays were left on the table because they couldn't maneuever the pocket? The time spent leaving the pocket, not looking downfield, not having your feet set, removing WR options that are no longer viable across the body...there are potential routes that opened up or receivers that shook free in that time. How many plays or options were missed because they are mobile and not working the pocket?

Getting a QB like Mahomes is, of course, the ideal situation. Hes savvy enough to know when to hang in and work a pocket and when to bail. Hes the best of both worlds. But most QBs arent Mahomes (duh).

Anyway. I'm finished on the toilet. I'll stop typing now.
I'm not sure what I said that led to calling anything I said a "strawman", but I hope you enjoyed your time on the toilet lol.
 

SMU_Sox

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Mac doesn’t have the short area burst and reactive athleticism to extend and create like Mahomes and Russ do. And if you compare him to Lance, Fields, and Lawrence he will eat a sack where they can slip a direct hit and avoid a sack. The college game can be deceptive with QBs and mobility and it’s easier to look mobile in college. When you look across his games he is more of a guy who is better at predicting where the pressure is going to come and making adjustments in the pocket vs rolling out and avoiding pressure. Mac is probably around Stafford or Goff levels of athleticism which is fine but he isn’t super slippery and isn’t ever going to lead the league in creating out of structure. Honestly that stuff is overrated when you can see the field well, take what the defense gives you, and you have those three sweet sweet Ps: playmakers, protection, and play-calling. Macs going to have those as long as he is on a Belichick team.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Are you not using Justin Herbert here as an example of why Mac Jones will be successful?



All I'm saying here is that Herbert is taller, more athletic & has a much stronger arm than Mac so I don't see how he "blows a hole" in any argument.

Of course, that's not even my argument to begin with, but yeah.
Really I was just trying to illustrate that young QBs can still succeed without being scramblers, which was what the debate was. Not that Herbert = Mac.
 

Super Nomario

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So I see here a guy who is capable of running. He's absolutely NOT a statue in any shape, matter, or form. He's NOT an elite runner like Lamar Jackson. Nobody will mistake him for that. But he's also a much much much better runner than Brady or Manning or Brees. He's got actual mobility and when he runs he looks fairly athletic out there. He also throws beautifully on the run, either to his right or his left.
I think Brees is a good comp as far as a guy who was reasonably athletic but just didn't run much. Brees ran a 4.83 40 (just about the same as Mac or Mahomes) and actually ran for 500+ yards his last year in college. Like Jones, he was a tennis player growing up.

The throwing on the run thing is interesting; I agree he looked pretty good there. That was never Brady's strength, and despite Cam's running ability, he was pretty bad throwing on the run as well. So they might have more bootlegs and stuff in there if Mac gets an opportunity at some point.

There's kind of four different things here: a) can you run? b) do you run? c) can you throw on the run? d) can you create out of structure? Jones is a no for b but the other three he can do a little bit. Below average by modern QB standards but probably sufficient.

those three sweet sweet Ps: playmakers, protection, and play-calling. Macs going to have those as long as he is on a Belichick team.
Well, the bolded is not guaranteed.
 

SMU_Sox

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Jones vs other pocket passers is interesting. Jones has the best anticipation in the class. Jones is roughly tied with Lawrence and Fields for best accuracy but no one has Fields’s accuracy to all levels of the field. Jones probably had the 2nd or 3rd best ball placement of the class behind Fields and Lawrence. And where he was depended on what area of the field he was throwing to. Then lastly you have handling pressure. This is always volatile and prone to small sample size issues but Jones had the best year under pressure.
 

SMU_Sox

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@Super Nomario True it’s not guaranteed especially considering how 2019 and 2020 played out. 2006 was rough too. But there are usually 3 guys on the team he can throw the ball too. A slot: Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, whoever it is this year, and then either a tight end or on the rare occasion Bill has an X worth noting, and a receiving RB: Faulk, Woodhead, Vereen, White. That’s not all years but most. This year he has two tight ends and White and Agholor and Bourne are B options. Nothing is really guaranteed in football. Protection isn’t either. If injuries hit that can leave a hole in protection. I’m just going by average years. Normally Bill has enough guys who can succeed in a timing and rhythm based offense. Hopefully we see that trend continue.
 

JM3

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Really I was just trying to illustrate that young QBs can still succeed without being scramblers, which was what the debate was. Not that Herbert = Mac.
Everything is just a bunch of sliding scales that lead to an overall rating. It's just much more complicated than in Madden to figure out in real life how much to weigh certain skills & it's much harder to know how good players are at certain ones of those skills, especially before they've ever taken an NFL snap.

In general, I think some of Mac's intangible skills are overrated & not enough to make up for his lack of elite athleticism & arm strength.

But he is very accurate & checks certain other boxes, so we shall see, & I hope I'm wrong. I do think if he fails it's more likely due to his arm strength than due to his legs.
 

SMU_Sox

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Herbert (who I liked coming out) was a weird eval. When he ran he looked good. He was clearly an athletic guy but he went through 3 different OCs and his skill players over the years were never that good. Oregon had good OLs, good defenses, and good overall coaching but their tight ends, wide receivers, and running backs never were that special. Again 3 different OCs. Herbert’s biggest issue was with the right touch on passes. He also sometimes took an extra second to check it down and his timing and anticipation was still a work in progress (some of this though might have been not trusting inconsistent receivers to get open which I saw all too often on his tape). I could have sworn I wrote here or elsewhere that I wanted him to run more in the NFL because he could bring something to the table with his legs.
I think Herbert also had issues when the answer changed post snap (when pre and post snap coverages changed) but that’s pretty normal for a lot of college guys. For sure the scheme and change of OCs limited him a bit. He was one of those guys where you could see why they would be even better in a situation outside of college but it makes you nervous as an outside evaluator/bullshitter to say that. @Kenny F'ing Powers glad you brought him up. He’s a uniqueish story.
Herbert was always a hard worker and I think he overthought stuff on the field. He looks less stiff and more relaxed and he’s making the right reads and his touch and placement this year was exceptional. We will see what coordinates will throw at him on defense this year. My guess is a lot more rotating coverages.
 

BaseballJones

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Mac doesn’t have the short area burst and reactive athleticism to extend and create like Mahomes and Russ do. And if you compare him to Lance, Fields, and Lawrence he will eat a sack where they can slip a direct hit and avoid a sack. The college game can be deceptive with QBs and mobility and it’s easier to look mobile in college. When you look across his games he is more of a guy who is better at predicting where the pressure is going to come and making adjustments in the pocket vs rolling out and avoiding pressure. Mac is probably around Stafford or Goff levels of athleticism which is fine but he isn’t super slippery and isn’t ever going to lead the league in creating out of structure. Honestly that stuff is overrated when you can see the field well, take what the defense gives you, and you have those three sweet sweet Ps: playmakers, protection, and play-calling. Macs going to have those as long as he is on a Belichick team.
The video I posted earlier today showed, to me, a guy who really does a nice job avoiding the pressure - rolling out, stepping up in the pocket, sliding just away from a rusher. Maybe that's because he sees it coming early on, or maybe it's because he just has good pocket presence and just enough athleticism to escape. Whatever it is, he seems to have it.
 

simplyeric

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uvvFgwBpsQ

4:21 - huge pressure up the middle, he sees it right away, rolls left away from pressure, and completes a short pass moving to his left

So I see here a guy who is capable of running. He's absolutely NOT a statue in any shape, matter, or form. He's NOT an elite runner like Lamar Jackson. Nobody will mistake him for that. But he's also a much much much better runner than Brady or Manning or Brees. He's got actual mobility and when he runs he looks fairly athletic out there. He also throws beautifully on the run, either to his right or his left. He's got excellent pocket presence and reads where the pressure is coming from. Yes he has a great offensive line, but these clips show that even when the protection breaks down, Jones is able to make something positive out of it. And he also shows good (not elite, but definitely solid) arm strength, with a few of these throws having excellent zip on them.

I look at this and see a guy with an NFL skill set. I don't care if he isn't an electric runner. I want my QB to make good decisions, be highly accurate, avoid sacks, make smart plays, be able to run when needed, which hopefully won't be much, and displays toughness - which he does.
That play at 4:20 (heh) stood out to me. Sees the blitz and rolls left, but he’s still aware of where his receiver is going. So he’s not rolling in a fluid motion, he snaps his shoulders and head around right to where he knows his guy is going over towards the sideline.
It looks less like he’s scrambling and improvising there (like Mahommes on his MVP-worthy scrambles for incompletions in the supper bowl) , and more like he’s still in control of the progression of the play. He rolls, snaps, and throws.

that tape got me really excited.
Now, almost every DL and DL guy I’m the pros is going to be that much faster, stronger, and hard hitting. Some of those plays wouldn’t have succeeded in the pros. But get him on a atrength and pliability regimen like TB12, and he could gain some percentage of speed, and arm zip, which I think he already has. He made a couple of arm/core-strength throws on that tape that looked pretty good to me.
 
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simplyeric

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Of course it makes infinitly more sense to break from the pocket than take a sack.
I don’t know...learning to take a judicious sack seems pretty important. Obviously it’s way better to be able to avoid the sack and make things happen, but especially early on I hope McCorkle knows the value of just falling on the ball now amd then.
 

SMU_Sox

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@BaseballJones There are a few plays this year that illustrate it in the highlights that he is good at seeing and anticipating pressure and he can do some limited rollouts especially if he times it right. The problem with the highlights are that they don't show when he does end up taking the sack and what happened there. There is enough tape of him not being able to avoid sacks when guys get a clean look at him. And to be fair (HT: @Super Nomario )

[media]
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G19B7lTgwCE

[/media]

Well to be fair... the guys in this class like Lance, Fields, and Lawrence are from another planet when it comes to being slippery. I saw Fields break a direct wrap multiple times from linebackers and edges for example. I saw him go from 0-60 in the pocket and get out of situations other guys would bite the dust. Jones is Staffordesque which imo is a compliment. He is average to above average avoiding sacks but he does it with pocket movement and knowing where the pressure is coming from. Brady made it look cool.
 

BaseballJones

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@BaseballJones There are a few plays this year that illustrate it in the highlights that he is good at seeing and anticipating pressure and he can do some limited rollouts especially if he times it right. The problem with the highlights are that they don't show when he does end up taking the sack and what happened there. There is enough tape of him not being able to avoid sacks when guys get a clean look at him. And to be fair (HT: @Super Nomario )

[media]
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G19B7lTgwCE

[/media]

Well to be fair... the guys in this class like Lance, Fields, and Lawrence are from another planet when it comes to being slippery. I saw Fields break a direct wrap multiple times from linebackers and edges for example. I saw him go from 0-60 in the pocket and get out of situations other guys would bite the dust. Jones is Staffordesque which imo is a compliment. He is average to above average avoiding sacks but he does it with pocket movement and knowing where the pressure is coming from. Brady made it look cool.
Makes sense. Again, I'm not remotely arguing that he's as athletic as Fields or Lance or even Lawrence. Recall that I was hoping NE would trade up for Lance or Fields. But I think he escapes well enough, and lots of the most athletic guys in the world get sacked a ton. And not just because their OL is a bunch of turnstiles. Sometimes athletic and slippery guys get sacked because they hold the ball too long or they make bad reads or they just don't see it coming.
 

tims4wins

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@SeoulSoxFan I have a bone to pick with the thread title (which has been bugging me for a week but I have forgotten to post): It should be QB Michael McCorkle Jones, or QB Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones.
 

ponch73

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An earlier suggestion that Mac Jones was just the second coming of Greg McElroy inspired me to crunch some numbers on the starting Alabama quarterbacks in the Nick Saban era against top 25 BCS competition (based on end of year rankings). Long story short, Alabama QB stats are definitely inflated by the system and their talented supporting casts. Nevertheless, Mac’s stats are markedly superior to all of his Bama QB predecessors, albeit in a small sample size. How this will translate to the NFL is above my pay grade.

40894
 

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RetractableRoof

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People are dinging him on athleticism, but there is tennis and soccer in his background - which contributes to the polish in his footwork and body positioning. Solid footwork and nimbleness lead me to think he will be able to make any movement related refinements given by a team QB coach or personal QB tutor. He does seem to throw decently on the move as well - so while I don't necessarily want him out of the pocket, I think if flushed out he won't be a total panic. I'm sure that BB will make it clear whether or not he wants the scrambling or the ball thrown away. Put him with a personal trainer who knows the demands of a pro QB and I'm betting what ever maximum can be extracted from him physically will be adequate. I think there are a million reasons a young QB can fail - I don't think athleticism will be his - his game tape shows he can make most every throw that BB would expect/ask him to make.

As to the other intangibles, his coaches talked about him coming back with low probability game planning questions to make sure he knew what the coach wanted if they DID come up. It impressed his own coaches, so the attention to detail and willingness to work the playbook and study film is there. His teammate seem to genuinely care about him, I think that counts in the leadership bucket. He at least understands the mental concepts asked of a professional QB and will have QB coaches to get him to the expectations on a professional level. I think he's got the intangibles - not to say he won't need to work on improving his processing/recognition, the speed of the pro game, etc. - but it's not like he will be a fish out of water.

Who knows if this guy will make it, and if he does - how far he goes. I'm betting his floor is legitimate playoff level QB - within BB's game management expectations. With adequate offensive talent around him and BB as his coach, I think he's one of those that gets closer to his ceiling than his floor. It's going to be fun, that's for sure.
 

DJnVa

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@SeoulSoxFan I have a bone to pick with the thread title (which has been bugging me for a week but I have forgotten to post): It should be QB Michael McCorkle Jones, or QB Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones.
Ha. I was feeling the same.

Was listening to a NESN podcast and either Kyed or Cox said "We always refer to him as 'Mac Jones', never 'Mac' and never 'Jones'".
 

splendid splinter

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An earlier suggestion that Mac Jones was just the second coming of Greg McElroy inspired me to crunch some numbers on the starting Alabama quarterbacks in the Nick Saban era against top 25 BCS competition (based on end of year rankings). Long story short, Alabama QB stats are definitely inflated by the system and their talented supporting casts. Nevertheless, Mac’s stats are markedly superior to all of his Bama QB predecessors, albeit in a small sample size. How this will translate to the NFL is above my pay grade.

View attachment 40866
The problem with comparing him to McCarron or McElroy is that those QBs date from a completely different approach to team-building and offense for Saban. Back then he wanted to rely on defense and the running game, and he wanted good game manager QBs. Eventually he adapted to the new wide-open offensive schemes and he needed true weapons at QB. Mac is a creature of a totally different era when it comes to Alabama QBs.
 

bakahump

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I think you can still develop and win with a Pocket Passer in the NFL. But the path is harder.

I think some great points have been made about it being easier for young QBs to Survive longer BECAUSE they can Scramble. That (might) buys (on a macro scale) time to get experience. Whereas the "Pocket Passer" getting killed by the rush is pretty much a given these days, a "Scrambler" MIGHT avoid those devestating hits (at least for awhile). HOWEVER with experience I think the equation changes. If the Pocket Passer CAN survive the first say 3-4 years, then there is a good chance he will be a decent QB in years 5-12 ish (and maybe longer). While if a Scrambler can survive the first 3 years he takes longer to evolve those "Pocket survival" skills (because he has never had to rely on them) and is STILL risking the devastating hit while running and may not be an "8 year QB"

Another thing a Scrambler can do for your team is let you skimp a little in other areas. You dont need "quite as good" a LT (or entire OL for that matter). Maybe the 3-10 million you save on that unit in addition to that Rookie Scrambling QB Contract can buy some pretty nice players in other areas. Maybe you can save a bit on WRs because now that scrambler can buy 1 more second. ETC ETC.
That can be huge for a "Bad team" picking high, who picks the Scrambling QB Du jour.

I think (again as many have pointed out) that the Pats mitigate alot of this and make that "Harder Path" just a bit easier. They are a decent well stocked team in all areas (WR is admittedly light, but PASS CATCHING isnt).
No QB path is easy but lets say a Scrambler works out 40% of the time. While a Pocket guy works out 20% of the time. When you add in the Pats and BB and JmcD and apply them to Mac Jones, then maybe he is around 35% chance of working out. (Numbers are mostly for illustrative purposes).
 

snowmanny

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As long as Wilson recreates the role of Giovanni Carmazzi in the “Mac Jones 4” documentary I’m good.