Possible Patriots First-Round Target Mocked for Unflattering Picture

Getty Mac Jones

By many accounts, the New England Patriots need to find their quarterback of the future in the 2021 NFL Draft. While it is highly unlikely the Patriots will have an opportunity to draft Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, or Ohio State’s Justin Fields, there is likely to be an opportunity to tab Alabama’s Mac Jones with the No. 15 pick in the draft.

In fact, CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson believes the Patriots may have their pick between Jones and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.

If recent photographs have anything to do with draft stock, Lance may have taken a small lead in the race to see which guy will be selected first. Jones helped lead the Crimson Tide to another national championship on Monday. He had a stellar game with 464 passing yards and 5 TD passes.

As good as he was during the game, part of the conversation afterward wasn’t about his nearly impeccable on-field performance. An image of Jones shirtless made the rounds and many could help but make fun of Jones’ less-than-athletic physique.

This tweet from Big Cat of Barstool Sports got over 42,000 likes and was retweeted nearly 2,000 times.

If you expand the picture, it’s pretty clear, Jones isn’t exactly a weight-room guy. However, what does that really mean as it pertains to his ability to play the quarterback position at a high level?

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Too Hard on Jones?

The 2021 NFL Draft looks like a pretty strong one for quarterbacks.

Because of the number of guys coming out who are expected to be first-round selections, it wouldn’t be surprising to see at least 2 of them become stars. Unless this class turns out to be like the 1983 group that produced Dan Marino, John Elway, Jim Kelly, and Ken O’Brien.

Jones may not be one of the guys who emerge as a star. Is it fair to take shots at him because he’s not chiseled out of granite, like so many other college and professional players we see? Not entirely, but the margin for separation is pretty thin between some of the top players at the position.

While Lawrence seems to be on a plateau of his own, the race between Wilson and Fields is fairly tight. The same thing could be said for Lance and Jones, and you might even throw Florida’s Kyle Trask in the conversation. Because there are so many talented quarterbacks, Jones’ frame might be seen as evidence he isn’t disciplined enough to excel as an NFL quarterback.

Product of a Great System Surrounded by Elite Talent?

Another downside for Jones involves his dynamic teammates and the proven system Alabama runs. Whether it’s Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, or any of Bama’s seemingly endless supply of elite running backs, Jones’ supporting cast is so good, they might actually be the lead performers while he’s the one who is in a supporting role.

Jones’ detractors attribute a lot of his success to the supporting cast and the system. Jones won’t be able to shake those concepts until he proves he has what it takes on a football field.

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