Updated Nov. 13, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is one of the most discussed players in college football this year. Because he leads the top-ranked team in the country, it is no shock that he is receiving a lot of attention, especially considering the hype train that follows a lot of Alabama players. Some media members, like ESPN, have compared Jones to Joe Burrow in terms of possessing the potential of having a season that skyrockets his draft stock. Draft grades, of course, can change over the months and weeks to come, but WalterFootball.com reached out to team sources to conduct a survey on where they were grading Jones at this time. We spoke with five different teams, three of which had a fourth-round grade on Jones, one of which had him on the bubble between Rounds 2 and 3, and one team of which gave him a second-round grade.
"[Jones is] a stronger armed Jake Fromm," said one area scout. "He distributes the ball well to all those great weapons. Jones has some ability. His arm is good enough, a little stronger than Jake's. Mac can anticipate, and sees the field well. I think he could have a career in the NFL similar to Matt Barkley."
Another team source who graded Jones (6-3, 214) in the fourth round said they felt he was a shorter A.J. McCarron. Similar to McCarron, Jones is surrounded with a phenomenal set of wide receivers, a tough offensive line with future early-round picks, and a dynamic running game. Team sources say Jones has done a good job of managing the game and getting the ball to his playmakers. Those playmakers like Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, John Metchie III, and Najee Harris can turn a routine play into a game changer, but Jones has excelled at getting them the ball in position to make a big play. In 2020, Jones has completed 79 percent of his passes for 2,196 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Given the demand for quarterbacks and how they can rise during the pre-draft process, it would not be surprising if Jones is selected on Day 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft. There will probably be a team that likes him enough to take him in the second or third round even though there are other organization that have him graded on Day 3.
Burrow started out as a late-round prospect last year before steadily climbing over the weeks, first to the mid-rounds, then to Day 2, and then to Round 1, before finally ending up as the No. 1-overall pick. Anything is possible for Jones, but right now, it sounds like the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft is most likely where he will be selected.