With the NFL draft scheduled to begin in on April 29, the league’s rumor mill is firing red-hot on all cylinders. The Denver Broncos currently hold the No. 9 overall draft pick and GM George Paton has been linked to multiple quarterback prospects after attending both Pro Days for North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
Paton sent Broncos' offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur to the QBs' second Pro Day. Countless mock drafts project that Denver will trade up to select one of the two QBs or hope that one slides right to them at No. 9.
As the debate over which dual-threat QB would be best suited in Denver, an unlikely name continues to crop up in association with the Broncos.
On Wednesday, 9NEWS’ Mike Klis appeared on 104.3 The FAN’s The Drive where he was asked about Denver’s QB hunt and let slip his darkhorse QB for the Broncos.
“Moving up to [pick] 4 is something that George Paton may not want to do,” Klis told hosts Tyler Polumbus and Darren McKee. “I still think Mac Jones is the guy that makes the most sense for the Denver Broncos.”
While I can hear the collective sigh and can see the eye-roll from Broncos Country, it’s important to understand that where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Klis has continually hinted at Paton being interested in drafting the Alabama QB over the last three months, and that’s nothing to scoff at.
Last season, Jones played in 13 games for the Crimson Tide, passing for an impressive 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns with just four interceptions while completing a whopping 77.4% of his throws. In addition to being a 2020 consensus All-American, he won the 2020 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is awarded to the nation's most outstanding senior QB.
The 6-foot-3, 214-pound signal-caller finished third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2020 and witnessed his draft stock skyrocket since February. I was on location at the Senior Bowl to evaluate the 22-year-old QB.
Jones' performance during the weeks' worth of practices made him a bonafide first-rounder to most scouts, coaches, and analysts alike. He demonstrated accuracy, precision, and touch with the football in a variety of formations and proved that he has an underrated arm that can consistently throw the deep ball.
The Broncos met with Jones during the Senior Bowl, and Paton has dispatched scouts and personnel to his Pro Days in March, though the GM did not go in-person himself. Oddly enough, though, Paton did not physically attend the Senior Bowl either. Instead, the GM opted to attend Fields’ Pro Day which took place the same day as Jones'.
Jones is largely described as unathletic, immobile, and the poised pocket statue of the past. However, there’s the theory that he would the ideal candidate for Shurmur’s spread offense.
Jones has an outstanding football acumen, specifically in reading coverages. His film study also demonstrates an innate ability to complete anticipatory throws in addition to equally distributing the ball among receivers.
Maybe the tin-foil hat theory of Paton monitoring Jones at a distance to disguise his true preference for the ‘Bama QB is hogwash. Or maybe, Jones is Paton’s ideal QB target viewed as the future franchise QB that could bring home the bacon for the Broncos.
Follow Luke on Twitter @LukePattersonLP.
Subscribe to Mile High Huddle on YouTube for daily Broncos live-stream podcasts!