The Chicago Bears have made their intentions clear enough. GM Ryan Pace said “everything is on the table” when it comes to the quarterback position this offseason. Translation? They’ll do everything within their power to land a difference-maker. Most of the talk centers around either the veteran trade market (Deshaun Watson/Matthew Stafford/Jimmy Garoppolo) and potential trade-up options in the draft (Zach Wilson/Justin Fields/Trey Lance). Yet it’s fair to ask a harmless question. What about Mac Jones?

Mentioning that name gets a lot of Bears fans depressed. The idea of taking the Alabama QB in the 1st round would be an admission of defeat to them. In their eyes, he isn’t a star. Maybe that’s fair. From a talent standpoint, he’s a notch below the other big names in the draft. He’s 6’2 with solid-if-unspectacular arm strength and moves well enough without being a true runner. Nothing about him says “special.”

Yet the guy is productive and he wins. 

Granted, he played for a program at Alabama that is an absolute machine. They churn out NFL talent better than any in college football. This past year they featured two wide receivers, a running back, and a couple of offensive linemen that could end up being 1st round picks. He also had one of the best offensive coordinators in college football in Steve Sarkisian.

How much of throwing 41 TD passes with just four interceptions was Jones and how much was the sheer talent and coaching around him? That concern is prevalent throughout the draft community and no doubt a big reason why the QB decided to attend the Senior Bowl. He wanted to show people he’s more than just a gear in the machine.

By the look and sound of things? He’s making his case.

Mac Jones was throwing with precision all day

It didn’t matter if it was 1-on-1 drills or full scrimmages. The guy was putting the ball in the right spot consistently. This is a continuation of what he did at Alabama all year. It’s starting to look like maybe Jones is greater than the sum of his parts. Maybe he doesn’t have the biggest body, best arm, or fastest legs. Yet he has enough of all three along with intelligence, charisma, and a relentless competitive drive to be successful. Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, who is coaching down at the Senior Bowl, had high praise for him.

“The thing you see about Mac right off the bat, he’s a gamer. He’s got a great presence about him. He loves the moment, loves the competition. So there’s not much doubt that he has that quarterback swagger that you can feel when you’re on the field.”

Mac Jones is a football junkie. He reportedly was drawing up plays since he was 5-years old. He took his high school team to the state championship game in 2016. Now he’s a national champion with the single-best passing season in Alabama history. The guy wins. He has field vision. He throws accurate passes. All signs point to him being a leader. Is it really that difficult to think he might be a good quarterback in the NFL?

Are there more appealing options for the Bears?

Sure. However, most of them figure to be really expensive and probably out of their reach. Jones is somebody they might be able to get for a reasonable price. Maybe even just their 1st round pick. Maybe he’s overrated, but maybe he isn’t. The only evidence available to this point is Jones has game. Enough to make him effective on Sundays. Give him some protection, a couple of weapons, and see what he can do.