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

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Everything I've read (and I'm no NFL scout) suggests this is a high-floor, high-ceiling guy, who is pretty much designed to fit into New England's mindset and offense. Even the criticisms of his abilities and limitations sound familiar.
I'm far from an avid college football fan, in fact it might be generous to call me a casual fan, but I certainly have interest in The Patriot's draft as well as their off season moves. Concerning the draft I depend on info from folks here and in the media to try to gauge needs and talent. Most everything I've read or heard prior to and after the selection of Jones is that he's an incredibly smart quarterback and should pick up on the Patriots offense fairly quickly. It's going to be a huge plus if they don't have to change/tailor the offense toward his learning abilities. If this guy has the football smarts that he's advertised to have and is able to run the same/similar offense to what Brady was running, he'll be OK. There's going to be some sort of learning curve for sure and like you say the criticisms sound familiar. I'm looking forward to seeing how Jones progresses and am optimistic that the intelligence enhances the rest of his game.
 

cournoyer

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After watching the highlight packages everyone has posted and reading through these threads, I think I'm leaning mostly in SMU's direction. Arm is fringey, which may or not be improved via a closer look into his mechanics. He's absolutely accurate, but there was a lot of waiting that Waddle and Smith were doing on some of those long balls. There was a ton of credit deserved though on his decision making and timing on his throws.

I think the most apt comparisons from highest to lowest ceiling would probably be:
---> Matty Ice (if his arm develops to be closer to a strength) ----> Phil Rivers (if his game management progresses as a strength) ----> Andy Dalton (This is the mendoza line in which I'd be happy he falls under) ----> Marc Bulger (I think this is Mac's floor if he stays within New England for the duration of his rookie contract). This is a bit glass half full but what the hell it's silly season. For what it's worth, I think his arm is quite a bit stronger than Pennington's. Really tough to judge how much though until we see him in NFL action.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Part of it is volume... Burrow threw 31% more passes overall.
Part of it is likely offense based, my recollection was LSU had a lot more quick throws in the offense
And part of it is confidence/performance, Burrow was elite at tight window throws and willing to make those throws because he trusted his arm, where Jones was more likely to turn down the "NFL open" guy to look for the college open guy because he had great talent and tons of time most plays.

There are some flaws with PFF that are well known, but that's just a nice shorthand, others have said the same thing, that Jones was not that willing to make tight window throws and when he did he did not have great success on them.
What are good numbers on this measure in general? I don't have access to PFF but it seems possible to me that Burrow's numbers are simply absolutely insane, meaning that Jones's numbers are still pretty decent. Completing half your tight window throws doesn't seem like a bad thing to me intuitively.

I can't see any real data but a Twitter search turned this up, which suggests that if Mac Jones isn't great on tight window throws then Justin Fields must have been absolutely abysmal on them (and/or attempted them even less than Jones) in 2019 if he only picked up 187 yards on such throws all season.


Edit: I also found this.

View: https://twitter.com/PFF_College/status/1381654624004931587
 
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Jimbodandy

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That this got into the final video is no accident. The local reporters have been hurling bombs at Bill for not listening to his scouts/personnel guys in recent years (see: NKeal Harry), and you can be sure Bill is aware of it. Remember that Kraft a few weeks alluded to some ‘changes’ they’ve made (not Kraft-directed though) in how they run the operation.
It's the way smart people run organizations. Nobody is confused as to who is in charge. But you want people to feel ownership in the decisions themselves, and you need to give them the opportunity to rubber stamp OR state their concerns. Bill probably pulls the trigger anyway, but it's good that he asks.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I've just decided that I'm going to choose to be excited.

I'm coming around to the idea that there are multiple ways to watch and enjoy sports. One way, certainly, is to evaluate and set expectations. And seeing how evaluation turns into performance is a fun way to be interactive and enjoy sports. And it is largely the way I watch baseball.

But in the end it's just a choice. I'm going to choose to be excited and that's that.
 

Shelterdog

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It's the way smart people run organizations. Nobody is confused as to who is in charge. But you want people to feel ownership in the decisions themselves, and you need to give them the opportunity to rubber stamp OR state their concerns. Bill probably pulls the trigger anyway, but it's good that he asks.
It doesn't tell us much though because the real question is not whether a boss makes a show of asking, it's whether dissenting voices feel they can make their views known, be respected, etc.
 

Jimbodandy

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Bama's also one of those schools where a 4.0 isn't necessarily straight As; you can have a few lower grades mixed in there because A+s are worth more than 4 (oddly, though, if your final GPA comes out above 4 they list it as 4.0 instead of what it actually was).
This is another example of how you literally know everything.

Also unsurprising is that there is an Alabama conversion factor for GPA.
 

LoneWarrior1

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I laugh about this as well. He did graduate in 2.5 years though and has a masters degree though, so there is SOME reason to believe he actually tried in school.
At first I was amazed that he graduated so quickly...then I also realized that these guys are basically on campus year round so he probably took summer and winter session courses to speed things up.
 

Jimbodandy

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It doesn't tell us much though because the real question is not whether a boss makes a show of asking, it's whether dissenting voices feel they can make their views known, be respected, etc.
To me it shows that he asks publicly. If you don't feel that you can make your view known, you're in the wrong fucking job.

If Bill is bothering to ask your opinion, you share your opinion
 

joe dokes

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I've just decided that I'm going to choose to be excited.

I'm coming around to the idea that there are multiple ways to watch and enjoy sports. One way, certainly, is to evaluate and set expectations. And seeing how evaluation turns into performance is a fun way to be interactive and enjoy sports. And it is largely the way I watch baseball.

But in the end it's just a choice. I'm going to choose to be excited and that's that.
Writ larger, that's kind of how all my sports fandom has evolved. The stuff outside the lines (non-criminal) just doesn't interest me as much (still more than zero), while the games still do. I genuinely appreciate all the insight people have here. I can't even fathom what that takes. I'm closer to Ray Ratto's take on the draft itself: "draft night was still the thing it always is: a vehicle for Mel Kiper to remind parents not to do whatever happened to make him him."
 

BaseballJones

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They all take summer classes at the big schools. One reason is because it lessens the load they need to take in the fall and spring (they're required to take X number of credits to remain a full-time student, and thus eligible to play). By taking a heavy summer load, it allows them to take the minimum during the normal school year.
 
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To me it shows that he asks publicly. If you don't feel that you can make your view known, you're in the wrong fucking job.

If Bill is bothering to ask your opinion, you share your opinion
Didn't Belichick complain in the documentary filmed in 2009 about the staff not feeling comfortable enough to speak up about stuff and that it was a problem?
 

BaseballJones

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CBS sports' Pete Prisco on his draft grades...

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/2021-nfl-draft-grades-picks-live-tracker-analysis-for-every-selection-in-round-1/

15. Patriots: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Grade: B

It's the perfect situation for him. He fits in the Josh McDaniels' offense.

16. Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Grade: B+

He will add another big-time playmaker to a defense that needed it. He can run and chase or rush off the edge.

17. Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
Grade: B

I don't love this pick. They need line help, but he's more of a second-round pick in my mind.


So let me get this straight. The Patriots - at a HUGE position of need (the most important position on the field) get a guy who Prisco says is a great fit for NE and that it's a "perfect situation for him", and he gets the same grade (B) as an overdrafted OL when Las Vegas could have gotten any number of guys who were better? Those two situations are worth the same grade? LOL
 

SMU_Sox

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Jones has a masters. Bill likes guys who finish their degrees and add-onto the paper pile.

By the way if you can check out Mac Jones vs TAMU (Texas A & M). If you want to feel good about him you need to see what he does in this game. He makes a ton of tight window throws and moves safeties around with his eyes not going to his first read probably 20-30% of the time. If I only saw this game from him and none of his others I would have had a 7.99 on him.

If you PM me I am going to zoom this game (the all-22) at 5:00 central 6:00pm eastern.
 

Jimbodandy

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Didn't Belichick complain in the documentary filmed in 2009 about the staff not feeling comfortable enough to speak up about stuff and that it was a problem?
I am unaware of that, but it's totally believable.

I'd need to see some evidence if anyone (not you) wants to make the argument that elder Bill surrounds himself with yes men and makes public shows of asking for honest opinions that he knows that they won't give.
 

BusRaker

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Mac might not be Quarterback sexy Flanders, but he "does his job". I'm happy we got any of the 5 without sacrificing anything more than our normal pick. Maybe Fields has a 55% chance at not busting and Mac a 50% chance, but at the expense of a 2022 first rounder I'll take the 5% reduction.
 

snowmanny

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I would be as excited as anything if they had moved up
and drafted Fields. He is a blast and might be great.

I am assuming the Patriots, like a ton of commentators I have heard, see Jones as a relatively high-floor (but lower ceiling than maybe all of the other four) and relatively quick to step in NFL starter. I am definitely positive about that and it will be interesting to see how he does. I like Jimmy G, but honestly I prefer the Cam/Jones plan.

Ed: if you hit on a decent to good QB on a rookie contract you can contend.
 

Cellar-Door

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CBS sports' Pete Prisco on his draft grades...

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/2021-nfl-draft-grades-picks-live-tracker-analysis-for-every-selection-in-round-1/

15. Patriots: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Grade: B

It's the perfect situation for him. He fits in the Josh McDaniels' offense.

16. Cardinals: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Grade: B+

He will add another big-time playmaker to a defense that needed it. He can run and chase or rush off the edge.

17. Raiders: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
Grade: B

I don't love this pick. They need line help, but he's more of a second-round pick in my mind.


So let me get this straight. The Patriots - at a HUGE position of need (the most important position on the field) get a guy who Prisco says is a great fit for NE and that it's a "perfect situation for him", and he gets the same grade (B) as an overdrafted OL when Las Vegas could have gotten any number of guys who were better? Those two situations are worth the same grade? LOL
I mean you could read it as... both teams took good players who are more of a 2nd round grade at their #1 position of need who are good fits in the systems. NE being the perfect situation for Jones and him being a system fit isn't really any different than Leatherwood being a good fit for LV. Perfect situation for the player and good fit for the system doesn't necessarily mean good value. NE would be a great situation for Alim McNeil and he's a system fit... if he had been picked at 15 what grade do you think it gets?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Writ larger, that's kind of how all my sports fandom has evolved. The stuff outside the lines (non-criminal) just doesn't interest me as much (still more than zero), while the games still do. I genuinely appreciate all the insight people have here. I can't even fathom what that takes. I'm closer to Ray Ratto's take on the draft itself: "draft night was still the thing it always is: a vehicle for Mel Kiper to remind parents not to do whatever happened to make him him."
Charting the role that sports plays and how we interact with them over time is kind of fascinating (to me).

I will say this about Kiper -- I wish I had his hair.
 

Hendoo

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I think the arm criticism is exaggerated and the accuracy credit he gets is exaggerated. He has some bad habits that having incredible WRs and facing slower stupider college CBs covered up. I think the issue is actually accuracy more than arm on those long balls because he also places the ball too far inside quite a bit on shorter routes. NFL CBs will eat that up. He also has a bad habit of ignoring the the backside cb, again covered up by elite wrs and inferior CBs.
 

tims4wins

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I've just decided that I'm going to choose to be excited.

I'm coming around to the idea that there are multiple ways to watch and enjoy sports. One way, certainly, is to evaluate and set expectations. And seeing how evaluation turns into performance is a fun way to be interactive and enjoy sports. And it is largely the way I watch baseball.

But in the end it's just a choice. I'm going to choose to be excited and that's that.
I was slightly positive on the move last night, but I too am choosing to be excited about the future. I agree it is a choice.

Edit: my slightly positive stance boiled down to "happy they didn't give up a single extra pick to get him; neutral on the prospect himself"
 

Phil Plantier

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Mobile and fast aren't the same thing. Mahomes is very mobile and was in college.

Brady (to a lesser extent Brees but he started off pretty mobile) aren't mobile. However, as a number of analysts have pointed out, since the new 2011 CBA (which changed the amount of practice and film time) there really hasn't been many non-mobile QBs who came into the league and had success, almost all the non-mobile QBs are legacy guys well into their 30s.

The list is basically.... Carr and Cousins. If you want to stretch it maybe you include Jimmy G and Goff.
If the metric is "got (or will get) a second contract that wasn't a gigantic mistake" I think the score is 6-3 mobile vs. non-mobile since 2011 (Wilson, Prescott, Mahomes, J. Allen, L. Jackson, Watson). It's also a cutoff that might be causal and might not. I don't think that's a huge mandate.

Last year's team, if Ryan Fitzpatrick was the QB probably wins 10 games.
BB would cut Fitzy after one of his 1 TD 3 INT games and run the single wing

Pennington also retired after an NFL career that lasted over a decade with the best completion % in league history, and averaged about the same Y/A as Cam Newton and Matt Stafford. I get that Brady made us all jaded, but if a draft pick turns out to be Chad Pennington that's a lot better than you'd normally expect.
Thank you. Pennington would be an amazing outcome.
 

Cellar-Door

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If the metric is "got (or will get) a second contract that wasn't a gigantic mistake" I think the score is 6-3 mobile vs. non-mobile since 2011 (Wilson, Prescott, Mahomes, J. Allen, L. Jackson, Watson). It's also a cutoff that might be causal and might not. I don't think that's a huge mandate.

Thank you. Pennington would be an amazing outcome.
I think 6-2, Goff and Jimmy G are both mistakes, Jimmy had 1 good year for like 100M. (You could honestly probably argue Cousins was a mistake, but I think he falls just the right side).

I think Pennington reference came from one of my posts. It wasn't about him vs. Mac, he was just in the list of guys who started out with more adequate or marginal arm strength and shoulder injuries sapped it, more of a comment on how guys with elite arm strength can deal with the loss due to injury or age of some zip, where guys who were already in the bottom part of the league for zip can really fall off fast if they lose some.
 

Phil Plantier

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I think 6-2, Goff and Jimmy G are both mistakes, Jimmy had 1 good year for like 100M. (You could honestly probably argue Cousins was a mistake, but I think he falls just the right side).
I mean, if you ding Jimmy G, then you have to admit to the possibility that Josh Allen (or possibly Lamar) turns into a pumpkin this fall.
And that's not addressing Watson. The (grand) jury is likely still out.

But the larger point is that *maybe* the CBA change caused this, but I'd need more than a toting-up to believe it.
 

Cellar-Door

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I mean, if you ding Jimmy G, then you have to admit to the possibility that Josh Allen (or possibly Lamar) turns into a pumpkin this fall.
And that's not addressing Watson. The (grand) jury is likely still out.

But the larger point is that *maybe* the CBA change caused this, but I'd need more than a toting-up to believe it.
yeah, I agree it's more an interesting pattern than true evidence of C+E, but it would be something I'd be leery of. On the other hand, there is a case that the Patriots were never going to want to unleash a modern mobile QB anyway, and they'll build differently than most teams to accommodate that, and perhaps also... they can afford to be patient, because another recent QB trend is a lot of rookies getting thrown out into bad situations and looking unready. I wonder if the practice shortage is part of the issue, but another is just not letting guys spend time figuring out what they're doing before throwing them into situations where it's all falling apart. A guy who doesn't know what is going on playing on a mess of a team but who is mobile can salvage a lot of things. Perhaps the answer for a guy like Jones will be... he sits until he really knows what he's doing, and he's put into situations where he rarely needs to salvage things.
 
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Fat compared to teammates.
Definitely fodder for another thread and not wanting to take away from the "Is he Brees or Peterman?" debate, but after seeing the Mac pics, my mind wandered to least athletic looking Boston players in my lifetime. Names that popped up immediately were Booby Jenks, George Scott (the 70s version), John Bagley, Big Baby, Jared Sullinger, and team captain Rich Garces.
 

nighthob

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Brees is not a "mobile" QB. Brady obviously isn't a "mobile" QB. You don't need to be a Lamar Jackson to be wildly successful in the NFL. Even Mahomes only runs a 4.80 40, and Mac was timed at 4.79 at his Alabama pro day.
I know that you've read me on this subject before over in the Port Cellar, but functional athleticism is a thing. Tim Tebow was a great running QB (if he could pass the ball at all he'd've succeeded in the NFL), but he wasn't an elite athlete. Similarly Mahomes is a great mobile QB even if he lacks top end speed. Regardless of whether or not Jones has a similar 40 time, he just isn't a runner.
 

BaseballJones

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I know that you've read me on this subject before over in the Port Cellar, but functional athleticism is a thing. Tim Tebow was a great running QB (if he could pass the ball at all he'd've succeeded in the NFL), but he wasn't an elite athlete. Similarly Mahomes is a great mobile QB even if he lacks top end speed. Regardless of whether or not Jones has a similar 40 time, he just isn't a runner.
I know he’s not a runner. They won’t be calling any plays for him to run the ball. But I’ve seen enough highlights of him avoiding the rush and getting 8-10 yards. They don’t need him to do any more than that on the ground.
 

Shelterdog

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I know that you've read me on this subject before over in the Port Cellar, but functional athleticism is a thing. Tim Tebow was a great running QB (if he could pass the ball at all he'd've succeeded in the NFL), but he wasn't an elite athlete. Similarly Mahomes is a great mobile QB even if he lacks top end speed. Regardless of whether or not Jones has a similar 40 time, he just isn't a runner.
I agree with the substance but might quibble with the phrasing. Mahomes and Tebow are in my book elite athletes regardless of their 40s--the combination of speed quickness balance change of direction ability, power, flexibility makes them elite even if the speed isn't outlandish.

Little reason to think Jones is an elite athlete in the same way.