NFL analysts are paid to evaluate talent and offer their opinion. When that opinion raises eyebrows, it gets more attention. Controversy clicks, as they say, and there's a bit of a controversial take living on NFL.com currently.
Former NFL player and current analyst Bucky Brooks penned a long story making draft projections on NFL.com just before the weekend. The first half of it, just over 800 words to be exact, was spent picking apart Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and explaining why Jones isn't worth a first-round pick. Jones has been skyrocketing up mock draft boards and some believe he will be drafted by the 49ers with the No. 3 pick. Brooks thinks that would be a mistake. A terrible mistake.
Brooks wrote that Jones was a product of Alabama's immense talent across the offense. He calls him a "statuesque signal-caller" and says he doesn't have the athletic ability to extend plays. Brooks even called Jones a, "system quarterback," which is a pretty big knock on any quarterback. The final words of his takedown were perhaps the most damning.
"His game and his lack of superpowers could predictably make him an overrated prospect when we review the 2021 draft in a few years."
No superpowers? Overrated? Ouch.
This systematic takedown of Jones featured everything you want in a hot take. Brooks crushes those comparing Jones and Joe Burrow ("Burrow is a superior athlete to Jones"). He also puts Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance firmly ahead of Jones in athleticism and arm talent ("Jones is nowhere near the athlete of Fields or Lance, and he lacks the magical arm talent to compete with the quartet in a game of H-O-R-S-E.")
It's bold to make these proclamations. It's even bolder to so adamantly disagree with virtually every other NFL Draft expert, who all peg Jones as a Top 10 pick, and certainly the NFL team that drafts Jones that high.
To be clear, I don't have a dog in this fight. I haven't reviewed film of Jones. All I did was see him play in college. And Brooks is right. Jones played with a lot of talent at Alabama and threw a lot of balls to wide open receivers. But Jones still got them the ball. He still led Alabama to a national title. Plenty of other quarterbacks would have failed in that spot. Jones didn't. He also ran a 4.68 40, which seems athletic enough. Tom Brady ran a 5.28 after all.
There's no doubt Jones has work to do to live up to being a first-round pick. So does Lawrence. So does everyone drafted in the upper half of the draft. But if Jones turns out to be the next Brady, which some have compared him to, or even a Pro Bowler, this won't look good for Brooks. You can't just delete these 800 words from internet history. That's not how it works.