Charlie Weis has a no-brainer option in mind for the Patriots’ next quarterback.
The former Patriots offensive coordinator is all in on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. On his SiriusXM NFL Radio show, Weis gave Jones, who is projected to be one of the top five quarterback prospects in April’s draft, a ringing endorsement.
“What are the two most important components of a star quarterback?” Weis said, via ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss. “They have the ‘it’ factor. And they’re accurate. That’s who he was.”
Of the quarterbacks considered to be the first five selected, Jones has consistently ranked last in the group by draft evaluators. One of the big talking points against Jones is that he played on an Alabama team loaded with talent. Alabama’s top receivers this season (Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle), its starting running back (Najee Harris), and its starting left tackle (Alex Leatherwood) are all projected to be first-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. In addition, Alabama’s top receivers from 2019 (Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III) were selected in the first round of last year’s draft.
With all of that talent, it’s easy to think question if Jones is only as good as he is due to what’s around him. Weis, however, doesn’t share that viewpoint.
“You talk about being around good players. Yeah, he was around good players. But playing on a team with a bunch of stars, who is the leader of the offense?” Weis told Reiss. “He also had to make all those throws. I think the kid is an excellent quarterback. He has less holes than just about anybody.”
The other major knock on Jones is that he’s not much of a scrambler. Jones rushed for just 14 yards in 2020 and ran for 36 yards in 2019. Like the other perceived knock on Jones, Weis doesn’t view it as much of a downside.
“If you’re looking for a guy that’s going to be running for 30 yards on a regular basis, that’s not your guy,” Weis said. “But he can move in the pocket, and from the pocket, and run the ball when he absolutely needs to.”
While some draft evaluators are focused on the potential downside of Jones, Weis is encouraged by his upside. Weis touted Jones’ completion percentage (74.3 percent during his college career) and his record (17-1 during his time at Alabama) to Reiss.
“This guy, [Jones], he’s the one making all the plays,” Weis said. “All he does is win and throw completions.”
Jones has actually received comparisons to Tom Brady. Weis, who was Brady’s offensive coordinator for his first five years in the league, made a different comparison. Weis said that Jones reminds him of Saints quarterback Drew Brees, saying they both similarly won a lot in college and high completion percentages.
“How has that worked out?” Weis said of Brees, who was selected in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. has the Patriots selecting Jones in the first round of his latest mock draft while former Jets general manager and ESPN NFL analyst Mike Tannenbaum also predicts the Patriots will draft Jones.
Jones met with Patriots scouts at the Senior Bowl, saying he had a “good conversation” with the team.
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