Alabama quarterback Mac Jones ended last year’s college football season as a Heisman Trophy finalist and now Mel Kiper Jr. is comparing him to Joe Burrow.
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones saw his career take an unbelievable leap during his junior year at the university. As the NFL Draft approaches, his stock continues to rise. Although he isn’t likely to go No. 1 overall, Jones is starting to receive some pretty lofty comparisons from some of the NFL’s experts.
Throughout last season, many compared Jones’ ascension to the leap Joe Burrow had made at LSU the year prior when he shattered records en route to winning the Heisman and national championship. Now that Jones is coming off of an impressive national championship run, he’s turning some heads.
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., speaking on the First Draft podcast, once again drew parallels to the now-Cincinnati Bengals starter.
Mel Kiper Jr. says Mac Jones is in a similar situation that Joe Burrow was
Jones was a Heisman Trophy candidate last season for a reason. He completed an incredible 77.4 percent of his passes this season for 4,500 yards including 1,856 yards to his teammate and eventual Heisman winner DeVonta Smith. Add in 41 touchdowns with just four interceptions and you’ve got one heck of a college football season. He led Bama to13 straight wins and their fifth national championship this decade. Kiper Jr. thinks he’s comparable to Burrow, but not in the way people might think.
“Mac Jones isn’t Joe Burrow, but his situation is kind of like Burrow in different ways,” Kiper said. “Because Burrow beats you with his legs. Mac won’t. Mac’s that quarterback pocket guy, limited mobility, athleticism. Where Burrow is an athletic kid, can move, can beat you with his legs. So that’s not a comparison that’s really accurate, but the situation I think is similar,” said Kiper Jr.
He added that analysts like himself must re-think their draft boards when a player has a season like Jones did. “When guys come out of nowhere like Mac Jones did and Joe Burrow did, you got to reconcile in your mind, and we’re all human, that OK these guys deserve to be up there.”
Plenty of NFL teams ought to be looking to grab quarterbacks in the 2021 draft and while Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Justin Fields are certainly grabbing most of the attention, Jones will definitely be in the mix to be a top-15 pick. But the comparisons to Burrow are too much.