Alabama in the Pros

Joe Montana says he would have taken Mac Jones if he were the 49ers

Mac Jones (#10) gives a thumbs up for Patriots in matchup versus Texans
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

Mac Jones has played so well as a rookie that national media pundits are having debates about him.

During a segment via NFL Live, Marcus Spears, Keyshawn Johnson, and Dan Orlovsky discussed Jones.

RELATED: Miami Dolphins are sticking with Tua Tagovailoa as its quarterback

Spears and Johnson said it’s the Patriots’ system that is allowing Jones to be successful, while Orlovsky argues Jones has marquee traits at quarterback that translate to the NFL.

He came behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa and set records at Alabama in one season as a starter. Jones totaled 4,500 passing yards and 41 touchdown passes in 2020, en route to becoming a Heisman finalist, Consensus All-American, Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award winner, Manning Award winner, and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner.

He ranks in the top-10 for quarterbacks in passing yards (1,997, No. 8) and completion percentage (68.1, No. 8) in the pros. Jones’ passer rating (90.1) and quarterback rating (52.9) are higher than two players, Ben Roethlisberger and Jared Goff, that took their teams to a Super Bowl.

Roethlisberger is a former two-time Super Bowl champion. Jones’ QBR is also higher than Matt Ryan’s (48.4) and Jimmy Garoppolo’s (47.3).

Both quarterbacks took their teams to a Super Bowl. During the NFL Draft process, Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers moved to No. 3. Jones talked about the schemes, formations, and systems the 49ers had in a presser before Alabama’s Pro Day.

It was reported by multiple outlets that Jones was Shanahan’s quarterback. San Francisco chose Trey Lance over Jones, and he has had a few good moments. Joe Montana, a four-time Super Bowl champion with the 49ers, was featured Wednesday on ESPN’s College Football Live. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and a 1977 national champion at Notre Dame.

RELATED: Christian Barmore is ‘a problem in a good way,’ per Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy

As talented as Lance is, Montana said he would have taken Jones if he were the 49ers.

He has nothing against Lance, but Jones put on a show in 2020 at Alabama. The Crimson Tide’s combination of Brian Daboll, Michael Locksley, and Steve Sarkisian as offensive coordinators prepared Jones for a prostyle offense. They also made him excel in the RPO (run-pass-option) scheme too. He does not have elite receivers with the Patriots, but Jones has the team in the playoff hunt. He’s competed against Dak Prescott, Tom Brady, and Justin Herbert, and he’s either outplayed them or equaled them.

If Jones had weapons such as George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel, he would be ripping the league alive.

He will continue to get better as he grows in New England. Jones is starting to put people on notice.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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