Mac Jones to the Eagles Isn't as Crazy as You Think

Could the Eagles really think about the Alabama QB in the top 10?
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PHILADELPHIA - It happens every year in the NFL Draft.

The league thinks more highly of a prospect than #DraftTwitter and social media loses its collective mind when that news starts to leak out and show up in the plugged-in mock drafts.

You can then cue the ensuing outrage of fans who've been indoctrinated to believe falsely [insert name] is a second-rounder.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones at No. 6 overall to the Eagles in a CBS Sports Mock was such a moment.

A perfect example of the same phenomenon came in the 2020 draft with Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson, a highly-productive player at LSU in college football’s toughest conference who happened to show up on the biggest stages at the biggest times.

Because Jefferson worked so much in the slot with the Tigers he was pigeonholed early in the process by a lot of armchair scouts as a guy who simply wasn't fast enough to play outside on a consistent basis.

NFL scouts always thought differently and pegged Jefferson for the first-round, something further cemented by a 4.43 40-time at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Eagles fans now painfully know Jefferson was selected one spot after Philadelphia took Jalen Reagor at No. 22 overall and developed into one of the most explosive rookie WRs in league history with 88 receptions for 1,400 yards, coupling more than enough speed with elite route-running skills to play on the outside consistently.

Now circle back to Jones, a player being penalized for his All-World supporting cast in Tuscaloosa, which included two receivers who are regarded as top-10 level talents in the draft, the dynamic Jaylen Waddle and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, along with running back Najee Harris, who is regarded by most as the top player at his position.

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Jones, meanwhile, is more of a traditional pocket QB who lags behind the perceived top prospects when it comes to athleticism.

More so, he’s a tough projection because he was playing with a team that was just flat out better than everyone else, something that’s never the case on a consistent basis in the NFL.

That said, texting with NFL scouts and personnel executives over the past few weeks you quickly got the sense that they thought more highly of Jones than the social-media scouts, who generally earmarked him as a potential bridge pick late in the first round or early in the second.

The buzz was such that I mentioned on my local radio show over the weekend that Jones is going to go earlier than most fans expect.

On Monday the CBS mock dropped and ESPN analyst and former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky was also singing Jones' praises, mentioning the prospect's elite processing speed.

Earlier Smith, who should know better than just about anyone, was asked who was better, former Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa, the No. 5 overall pick by Miami last year only pushed down that far due to injury, or Jones, and the answer was definitive.

Tua himself and the most famous draft analyst of them all, Mel Kiper, Jr., compared Jones to Tom Brady, not exactly a fair bar to clear but you get the point.

One former league personnel executive texted me to keep an eye on Carolina at No. 8 for Jones and he won’t drop out of the first half of the first round.

The Eagles at six might sound outrageous to you but that’s groupthink. It’s fair to say Jones is unlikely that high right now but he’s in the mix.

John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.