Mac Jones seems to be a favorite among those in the Patriots’ fanbase, but it is possible that he simply is not good enough as a franchise QB? Perhaps this is in bad taste because he’s injured, but I was thinking of it at this moment.
As much as some of the fans seem to like Mac Jones, is it possible that he’s simply not good enough to be a legitimate franchise quarterback in the NFL? I’m rooting for Mac Jones and the Patriots, but I also think the other side of this coin should be considered.
What does Mac Jones do well for the Patriots?
Mac Jones does a lot well. He’s very accurate, evidenced by his high completion percentage last year as a rookie. He throws with very good anticipation and knows how to throw his receivers open. He’s also a workaholic. Jones seemed to undergo a bit of a physique change this offseason and greatly improved his physical makeup.
He’s also got a bit of moxey to him. He seems to be an excellent teammate and is clearly a voice in the locker room. I also think his love for the game and his wanting to get better is abundantly clear as well.
All of what I just listed are excellent qualities to have in a franchise signal caller. However, what are some of the things that he doesn’t do well? Or perhaps simply cannot do at an elite level?
What does Mac Jones not do well?
There are some things that Mac Jones does not excel at. I guess this doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t good at them, but it’s clear some qualities are simply not present. He isn’t overly large. He’s average sized, which is OK, but nothing desirable. For example, one of Josh Allen’s best attributes is his size.
Mac Jones’ arm is good, but that’s about it. The Patriots can ask him to make most throws on the field, but he doesn’t excite anyone with his arm strength. He’s not overly athletic for the position. Yes, he can move in the pocket, but not at the ability of some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
And, to be blunt, what makes the likes of Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Lamar Jackson the best of the best are things that the Patriots‘ signal caller doesn’t have. He doesn’t have the arm strength. He likely can’t make every throw on the field. He’s not overly athletic or much of a threat with his legs, and he was drafted into a very desirable system for quarterbacks.
Now with Josh McDaniels out of the picture, Mac Jones doesn’t look like he did as a rookie. Perhaps Mac Jones’ ceiling is being an average quarterback. Perhaps he can carve out a career like Kirk Cousins or Alex Smith.
Perhaps the Patriots drafted a game manager. Is that something the team is fine with having as their quarterback? Kirk Cousins and Alex Smith might end up being two perfect examples of what Mac Jones will end up being like. Both quarterbacks have played for multiple teams; they’ve gotten nice paydays and won some games, but no one ever accuses them of being the reason why a team is winning.
For these average QB/game manager types, you either win with them, or win in spite of them. To me, in today’s NFL, that might not be good enough.