The Chicago Bears are likely to take a quarterback at some point in the upcoming NFL draft. It’s a matter of when. Plenty of experts believe GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy could be eyeing one of the top five expected to go in the 1st round. Maybe even trading up to get whomever they desire. That of course would be expensive but as everybody knows no price is too much to get the QB position right. So here’s an interesting question. Could Mac Jones be their target?
The Alabama quarterback has been the subject of fierce debates for months now. His production and success in 2020 can’t be understated. He threw 41 touchdowns passes with just four interceptions and guided the Crimson Tide to a national championship. It was the best passing season the program has ever produced. This is a big reason why he’s expected to go high in the draft.
Despite lingering concerns about his overall talent.
Lots of draft evaluators have Jones ranked as the lower of the top five quarterbacks. This primarily due to his rather limited ceiling in terms of physical talent. He’s not overly big, is a modest athlete, and doesn’t boast elite arm strength. So what gives? Adam Schefter explained on the 49ers Talk podcast that teams have him ranked considerably higher than people think.
“‘He’s got elite accuracy. He’s an elite processor. And he’s got elite leadership skills.’ Those were his exact words. He said that he’s higher on draft boards— more highly rated than fans believe he is.”
Hearing that, it’s fair to ask the question. Is Jones possibly the QB the Bears covet? Remember that Nagy is the man guiding this QB search. It’s his offense. So his preferences are likely what Pace will focus on. He revealed those preferences a month ago with the top two being leadership skills and decision-making. Athleticism would be nice too but it’s not an absolute necessity in his mind.
Learning these details from Schefter makes one believe that Jones, despite his physical limitations, may be the guy Chicago covets the most.
Mac Jones certainly seemed to connect well with the Bears
The Alabama QB revealed what happened when the team had their first official meeting with him. It was basically an hour of just talking about football. He loved it, even expressing a hope that he gets to meet with them again at some point before the draft. So this is enough evidence to suggest that the two sides hit it off pretty well. Don’t forget Pace was at his pro day. So the Bears have kept a close eye on him for months.
What isn’t known is whether they can get into a position to draft him. Current rumors persist that Jones is the favorite to go #3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers. If that’s the case, then any discussion involving the Bears is pointless. However, if it ends up being one of the other three remaining QBs such as Justin Fields or Trey Lance? Then it becomes a topic of discussion. Rumors emerged last week that Chicago is at least exploring the possibility of moving up. Even as high as #4 overall if need be. Would they dare do that for Mac Jones?
If Nagy believes he is a franchise-caliber guy? One can’t rule it out.
The NFL is not a predictable league. Athleticism is always a major benefit as it is with any sports. Yet the quarterback position continues to confound experts because the best athletes don’t always make the best QBs. See Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Baker Mayfield, and Baker Mayfield as some of several examples in recent years. If you can process defenses quickly, throw accurately, and have a good enough arm? You can play in this league.