The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

IdiotKicker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
8,517
Somerville, MA
Yep, and this is why looking at the stats on the back of a football card to make any judgments on Burrow's rookie year has led a lot of people - on the national stage as well as in several conversations here on SoSH - to essentially misrepresent him as a player.

He did overthrow too many deep balls last year. That no longer seems to be an issue, to put it mildly.
Agree. I think we would do much better if we moved from box score scouting and comparing stats to actual evaluation of a player. There are a few passing stats that I think translate well (INT%, AY/A), but other than that, comparing yardage, completion percentage, TDs, or basically any other stat is a exercise in comparing two different offenses playing in different game situations that tells us very little about the actual passer and his ability.
 
Last edited:

Gash Prex

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 18, 2002
5,797
when did the footwork on his dropbacks change? It is stark to see those massive galloping steps he takes there.

That throw to the outside does look weak to me.
You can see his mechanics are a mess (footwork and throwing) - and that's his rookie year. Imagine if he played a full season immediately with those mechanics slinging it off helmets on short passes.

Tom put the work in every year to improve and learn from BB. Mac has the same opportunity.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
26,718
I know they're different people and different players, but the Mac Jones - Joe Burrow comp is probably not a terrible one.

Size:
- Burrow: 6'4", 221 lbs
- Mac: 6'3", 217 lbs

(Very similarly-sized)

Last college season:
- Burrow (15-0, national champs): 76.3%, 5,671 yds, 10.8 y/a, 60 td, 6 int (that TD number is impossibly large)
- Mac (15-0, national champs): 77.4%, 4,500 yds, 11.2 y/a, 41 td, 4 int

(Both were ridiculously good their last years in college. Burrow got more yds and TD, but Mac had higher completion percentage and yards per attempt. I'd say Burrow's season was better, but Mac's is as close as you can get to it.)

Skill position teammates:
- Burrow: Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, Thaddeus Moss, Terrance Marshall Jr, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Mac: DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, John Metchie, Najee Harris
(I mean, both guys had absolute ELITE skill players to work with. Hard to say which group is better, but I'd go with Burrow's, but not by much. Pretty incredible teams, both of them. I'd love to have seen 2019 LSU go up against 2020 Alabama.)

Scouting report:
- Burrow: Throws with great anticipation. Excellent accuracy. Very intelligent. Moves well within the pocket. Fearless under pressure. Doesn't possess elite arm strength, and of all his traits, arm strength considered his biggest weakness.
- Mac: Very intelligent. Exceptionally accurate. Savvy pocket passer, not a runner, but will take what's there on the ground as needed. Doesn't possess elite arm strength.

(So I mean, the scouting reports were pretty similar.)

First NFL season:
- Burrow (age 24): 65.3%, 2,688 yds, 6.7 y/a, 13 td, 5 int, 89.8 rating
- Mac (age 23): 67.6%, 3,801 yds, 7.3 y/a, 22 td, 13 int, 92.5 rating

(Burrow got hurt which cost him some games, but overall Mac's rookie season was a little better.)

First NFL season skill position teammates:
- Burrow: Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, AJ Green, Joe Mixon, Giovanni Bernard
- Mac: Meyers, Bourne, Henry, Agholor, Damien Harris, Jonnu Smith

(Obviously Burrow's skill position teammates improved dramatically when Chase came on board. But I'd still give him the edge in terms of talent around him his rookie year. Hopefully the Pats can make improvements this offseason.)

Now let's look at Burrow's progression from year 1 to year 2 in the NFL:

2020: 264-404 (65.3%), 2,688 yds, 6.7 y/a, 5.2 any/a, 13 td, (3.2%) 5 int (1.2%), 89.8 rating
2021: 366-520 (70.4%), 4,611 yds, 8.9 y/a, 7.4 any/a, 34 td (6.5%), 14 int (2.7%), 108.3 rating

What changed for Burrow?

1. Health. He was healthy this year instead of missing a bunch of games.
2. Experience. He had a year in the NFL under his belt, and that's huge.
3. Physical improvement. His arm strength and throwing power improved. Still not elite, but improved.
4. Ja'Marr Chase. Obviously adding a receiver of his caliber was ENORMOUS for Burrow's production. I bet it would do something similar for Mac.

Mac already had good health, though he may have been banged up some late in the season. Still, he played every game so that won't be an improvement - in fact, we can anticipate that area getting worse as he's bound to miss SOME time at some point. He definitely will benefit from experience. No doubt he'll be smarter and wiser and more NFL-acclimated going into year 2. I also believe he will improve physically. Arm strength should develop at least some. He will never have Pat Mahomes' arm, but he won't need to. He just needs to improve. And that last point...that's the big question mark. It's doubtful that NE will add someone like Chase to bolster the receiving corps. I mean, rookie year, Chase was elite. They could get Mac some upgrade somewhere possibly, but more likely, he's going to have to work with what he's got, which is a hell of a lot less than what Burrow currently has. So if Mac approximates Burrow's year 2 numbers next season with a much lesser set of skill position teammates, credit to Mac. I don't think he'll get there, but I do think he will improve on this year's numbers.

Assuming similar health to this year, I'd expect Mac to put up something like: 374-550 (68.0%), 4,200 yds, 7.6 y/a, 30 td, 10 int, 101.2 rating
I would also note...
Mac had a good O-line and running game, Burrow had an absolute trainwreck O-line and running game. Last year it was TERRIBLE in both run and pass blocking. This year it's still bad in pass blocking, but improved in run blocking, which has made them a bit more balanced and helped Burrow.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
17,496
I would also note...
Mac had a good O-line and running game, Burrow had an absolute trainwreck O-line and running game. Last year it was TERRIBLE in both run and pass blocking. This year it's still bad in pass blocking, but improved in run blocking, which has made them a bit more balanced and helped Burrow.
Yes that’s been pointed out. I think you take all that into consideration and I think Mac’s rookie year was better than Burrow’s. But that’s not even my point. My point is that they’re pretty comparable players for all the reasons I listed. I’m hoping Burrow’s improvement shows that Mac can improve too.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
26,718
Yes that’s been pointed out. I think you take all that into consideration and I think Mac’s rookie year was better than Burrow’s. But that’s not even my point. My point is that they’re pretty comparable players for all the reasons I listed. I’m hoping Burrow’s improvement shows that Mac can improve too.
I think they are vaguely comparable, but I don't think any of those stats are why. Stats aren't a particularly good way to compare the future growth of QBs at all.

Burrow is a comp to me in that he is similarly sized and while he had a better arm in college he's not a really big arm guy. I think if Mac can make a similar addition to velocity through mechanics it would greatly increase his ceiling, though he'd still probably have less zip on the ball than Burrow.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
4,077
It’s impossible to parse out but how much of a rookie QB’s struggles are generally related to being on crappy teams? And how much of normal improvement and growth related to improvement of teammates as teams mature? If you swap Lawrence and Jones, how would they have performed?

I’m generally a baseball fan first and it seems like measuring performance is a lot simpler than in football where the actions of your teammates are going to impact your own stats much more.
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
9,341
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Yes that’s been pointed out. I think you take all that into consideration and I think Mac’s rookie year was better than Burrow’s. But that’s not even my point. My point is that they’re pretty comparable players for all the reasons I listed. I’m hoping Burrow’s improvement shows that Mac can improve too.
Burrow had really good off script skills in college. He's comparable to Mac in terms of straight line speed and arm strength, but he's a much more aggressive, inventive type of QB.
 

Euclis20

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2004
5,059
Imaginationland
I kinda hate how people lump Dak in with those other guys as a "mobile quarterback". He's a pocket passer.
Correct, he had 48 carries for 146. Mac had 44 for 129.
He stayed in the pocket a lot more this year, but historically he's definitely been a mobile QB (never on the level of Jackson/Murray/Allen, but he's definitely not Mac). His first 4 seasons in the league, he averaged 305 rushing yards per year. Averaging over 17 games that's 324 rushing yards, which would have been 9th in the league among QBs this year (just behind Hill and Lawrence, just ahead of Heinicke and Herbert). Mac was 24th in rushing among QBs.

We'll see if it's a one year aberration (possibly related to injury recovery) or if this is his normal going forward, but at least for now I'd forgive people for grouping Dak with the mobile QBs like Mahomes/Lawrence/Herbert/Tannehill, as opposed to the pure pocket passers.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
He stayed in the pocket a lot more this year, but historically he's definitely been a mobile QB (never on the level of Jackson/Murray/Allen, but he's definitely not Mac). His first 4 seasons in the league, he averaged 305 rushing yards per year. Averaging over 17 games that's 324 rushing yards, which would have been 9th in the league among QBs this year (just behind Hill and Lawrence, just ahead of Heinicke and Herbert). Mac was 24th in rushing among QBs.

We'll see if it's a one year aberration (possibly related to injury recovery) or if this is his normal going forward, but at least for now I'd forgive people for grouping Dak with the mobile QBs like Mahomes/Lawrence/Herbert/Tannehill, as opposed to the pure pocket passers.
His YPC was way down this year. His carries weren’t. Weird.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
Dallas
Dak’s calf injury kept him from scrambling as much. That bothered him the rest of the year and he wasn’t consistently himself since that injury. I use those three types of mobility: A - limited mobility even in the pocket. Not going to create by scrambling. B - plus mobility to scramble, scamper off chunk runs especially against man coverage, avoid sacks, etc. C - a true double threat as a runner. Lamar Jackson is a C. Mahomes is a B. Dak is also a solid B. Less mobile than Mahomes and near the middle of the pack.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
36,701
Melrose, MA
Dak’s calf injury kept him from scrambling as much. That bothered him the rest of the year and he wasn’t consistently himself since that injury. I use those three types of mobility: A - limited mobility even in the pocket. Not going to create by scrambling. B - plus mobility to scramble, scamper off chunk runs especially against man coverage, avoid sacks, etc. C - a true double threat as a runner. Lamar Jackson is a C. Mahomes is a B. Dak is also a solid B. Less mobile than Mahomes and near the middle of the pack.
Where are you putting Mac? I think I'd say he goes on the line between A and B. There was a decent number of sacks where moving within the pocket could have helped him. There were very few runs. At the same time, he did show an ability to roll out and throw accurately on the move. He's not a Drew Bledsoe-like statue in the pocket. But if I judged Mac solely on drive 1 in the Buffalo playoff game, I'd have given him a B. Kept a play alive to hit a long pass and ripped off a 16 yard run. That wasn't the norm for him this season though.

Also, how do you differentate between a Bledsoe type (immobile, even in the pocket) and a Brady type (immobile outside the pocket but one of the best at moving within it)?
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
9,341
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Dak’s calf injury kept him from scrambling as much. That bothered him the rest of the year and he wasn’t consistently himself since that injury. I use those three types of mobility: A - limited mobility even in the pocket. Not going to create by scrambling. B - plus mobility to scramble, scamper off chunk runs especially against man coverage, avoid sacks, etc. C - a true double threat as a runner. Lamar Jackson is a C. Mahomes is a B. Dak is also a solid B. Less mobile than Mahomes and near the middle of the pack.
If the B category is considered "mobile", the only guy who's not mobile in today's NFL is Brady. And even he's very mobile inside the pocket.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
Dallas
If the B category is considered "mobile", the only guy who's not mobile in today's NFL is Brady. And even he's very mobile inside the pocket.
Big Ben, Jacob Eason, are two guy who aren’t. Some guys coming out of college fit into A. Carson Strong comes to mind. And then you look in B how close guys are to A. Mac is closer than Mahomes for example. But yes most NFL QBs are somewhere in B or C.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
Dallas
Where are you putting Mac? I think I'd say he goes on the line between A and B. There was a decent number of sacks where moving within the pocket could have helped him. There were very few runs. At the same time, he did show an ability to roll out and throw accurately on the move. He's not a Drew Bledsoe-like statue in the pocket. But if I judged Mac solely on drive 1 in the Buffalo playoff game, I'd have given him a B. Kept a play alive to hit a long pass and ripped off a 16 yard run. That wasn't the norm for him this season though.

Also, how do you differentate between a Bledsoe type (immobile, even in the pocket) and a Brady type (immobile outside the pocket but one of the best at moving within it)?
Not all A class guys are the same so you just note it. Some evaluators had Mac as an A going into the draft. I think he’s a low B. He’s mobile enough but definitely on the lower end. Agreed.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
One thing that struck me yesterday was how much Joe Burrow ran backwards. Reminded me a lot of Mac this year. Burrow definitely still has room to grow in that area, although his O-line is admittedly a bit of a sieve.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
Dallas
Burrow has taken the most sacks by far this year. Before last night PFF's metric had the line as responsible for the vast majority of them. I think he had some self-inflicted wounds last night but his line is atrocious and did him no favors. Still, think Chase was the right pick. You just need an average OL - you don't need 5 all stars whereas a legit all star WR can change what you do on offense.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
Burrow has taken the most sacks by far this year. Before last night PFF's metric had the line as responsible for the vast majority of them. I think he had some self-inflicted wounds last night but his line is atrocious and did him no favors. Still, think Chase was the right pick. You just need an average OL - you don't need 5 all stars whereas a legit all star WR can change what you do on offense.
I had the same thought last night and this morning. I think overall Chase makes Burrow's life easier to a greater degree than having a great O-line and meh receivers does (semi close to Mac's situation, although the Pats O-line was much closer to good than great this year).
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,314
I had the same thought last night and this morning. I think overall Chase makes Burrow's life easier to a greater degree than having a great O-line and meh receivers does (semi close to Mac's situation, although the Pats O-line was much closer to good than great this year).
Burrow could have easily been hurt or turned the ball over on some of those sacks. It’s easy to say they did the right thing because they won but I’m not convinced. Chase is incredible but Cincy needs to protect Burrow. He is their meal ticket.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
Dallas
Burrow could have easily been hurt or turned the ball over on some of those sacks. It’s easy to say they did the right thing because they won but I’m not convinced. Chase is incredible but Cincy needs to protect Burrow. He is their meal ticket.
They need to invest in OL this off-season but they are also playing with multiple OL out or banged up which dramatically exacerbated the situation.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
40,726
Hartford, CT
They need to invest in OL this off-season but they are also playing with multiple OL out or banged up which dramatically exacerbated the situation.
I don’t think they’ll have the opportunity to get two guys of this caliber because of the FA pool and their draft position, but what LAC did last offseason giving a bunch of money to Linsley and then drafting and instant top starter in Slater was a good model for what CIN should be doing.
 

Rudy's Curve

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 4, 2006
1,969
They need to invest in OL this off-season but they are also playing with multiple OL out or banged up which dramatically exacerbated the situation.
The only real change has been at RT, where Riley Reiff (who was at least adequate) was lost for the year a few weeks ago and was replaced by Isaiah Prince, who is not. Aside from that, this is the best they have. LT Jonah Williams is a long-term piece and Quinton Spain has had a good season at LG - I could see them trying to upgrade there though given he'll be 31 next year. Trey Hopkins was once an above average C, but he's been awful after tearing his ACL at the end of last year. Second-rounder Jackson Carman was supposed to be the answer at RG, but he had a very rough adjustment from playing tackle in college and also battled weight/maturity issues. It would certainly be nice if he's the answer at RT next year getting back to his natural position (although he was a LT in college) and an offseason of learning how to be a pro. Either way, the right side needs a total overhaul. The good news is it's supposed to be a very deep tackle class, so they should still be able to get a good one at the end of the first if that's where they decide to go.
 
Last edited:

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
Dallas
Right Reiff was out and Spain was playing on a bum ankle. This is getting off topic but we don’t have a Bengals 2022 thread yet. Although superstitions would suggest not making that until they are eliminated… As for this year. My friend you are in luck. Charles Cross, Bernhardt Raimann, and Max Mitchell are all outside zone tackles and scheme fits for the Bengals. I’m only on OT 9 in depth this year so there are probably more. Nicholas Petite-Frere could also play that. I’d argue that aside from maybe Cross that none of these guys are true blue chippers (and even Cross is a tick below that level to me). But you’re picking at 28-32 so if Raimann slid that would be a nice pick. Petite-Frere is also an option there. He is high risk high reward. You watch him vs Michigan and Penn State and it’s really ugly. Watch him vs Purdue and he looks like he has the physical tools to play at a pro bowl level. Anyway those are some early names to kick around at OT for an outside zone team like the Bengals. Tagging @Rudy's Curve
 
Last edited:

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,170
Hingham, MA
I mentioned this in the offense thread, but one thing we haven’t talked about with regard to Mac’s rookie season is that he didn’t start taking all of the reps with the first team until the end of preseason. With a full off-season as the entrenched starter I would think / hope this helps him develop further chemistry with his pass catchers. I wonder how much if any this held back his performance (as well as the performance of his pass catchers).
 

Gash Prex

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 18, 2002
5,797

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
3,016
Worcester
Mac at the Pro Bowl with Mac Daddy ? (his father) I thought it was BB at first, but looks too big. Or JM3 is showing off pics of "Look where I am!"
 
Apr 24, 2019
1,001
It's all fun and games with that table landing...until it becomes beach volleyball.
 

JM3

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
1,569
Mac at the Pro Bowl with Mac Daddy ? (his father) I thought it was BB at first, but looks too big. Or JM3 is showing off pics of "Look where I am!"
Lol yeah, it's just the Pro Bowl walk-through. It wasn't very exciting. I think that guy is just some random who paid for a field pass.
 

JM3

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
1,569
Lol yeah, it's just the Pro Bowl walk-through. It wasn't very exciting. I think that guy is just some random who paid for a field pass.
Only real takeaways for me were that Kyler is a tiny human & my 8 y/o thinks the AFC is going to win tomorrow.