As the second week of free agency in the NFL gets underway, let’s not forget that we are still in the middle of mock draft season, and Todd McShay of ESPN just dropped another one.
As has become a common theme this year, McShay has the 49ers selecting a quarterback after trading up into the top 10. McShay envisions a scenario in which the 49ers and Detroit Lions swap first round selections along with the 49ers giving Detroit their second-round pick at 43 and possibly a first or second round pick in 2022 being included as well. With the ninth pick the 49ers would then select Mac Jones.
While I’m not high on the idea of the 49ers trading up for any of the quarterbacks in this years’ draft, this is the type of move that I’ve stated a few times would make sense. The trade compensation is essentially the same as what Buffalo used in 2018 to move up from 12 to 7 when they selected Josh Allen, and I believe that Jones is the best quarterback in this class.
What jumps out most about Jones when watching his film is his ability to see the coverage, and deliver the ball with terrific anticipation. Time and time again there are examples of Jones hitting his back foot, seeing the coverage and beginning to throw the ball while the receiver has yet to make the break on his route.
Another part of Jones’ game that stands out is his willingness to step up into the pocket. As already mentioned, Jones isn’t the most athletically gifted quarterback, in fact he’s probably the worst of this group, but he does a very good job of climbing up and through the pocket with his eyes still downfield. By doing this, Jones is keeping the play alive and able to escape for a scramble if necessary.
Jones doesn’t have a big arm, it’s actually pretty average. Despite the lack of arm strength, Jones is able to make all of the throws, short, middle, deep, between the numbers or down the sidelines because of his ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly and on time.
As McShay notes, “He’d mesh nicely with the Niners’ quick game and could bring more balance to an offense that has run on the sixth-highest percentage of plays in the NFL since coach Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017.”