- Jul 30, 2011
- Reaction score
June Jones, the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers, has watched many of the top quarterbacks available for the 2021 NFL draft. He hasn't seen them all. But he's seen enough of Lawrence to be less smitten with the overwhelming favorite for the No. 1 overall pick to know that if it was Jones' pick at that spot, he'd be cooking up some other plans.
"Hey, I do like him. But I would not take him with the first pick, though," Jones told Yahoo Sports by phone from his home in Honolulu. "Everyone is saying that’s the guy at 1. But I would trade that pick and take one of these other quarterbacks down the line."
The two quarterbacks he prefers? Well, one is by now nearly a household name — at least among those dialed into the NFL draft process. BYU's Zach Wilson, who could be the second overall choice to the New York Jets, is higher on his pecking order than Lawrence.
But Wilson isn't Jones' No. 1 QB prospect this year. He's got Alabama's Mac Jones up top.
Why so high on Mac Jones?
No, it's not just a surname thing. June Jones believes Mac Jones — who started a mere 17 games at Alabama — is the best quarterback prospect in this class because of his downfield accuracy.
Many evaluators Yahoo Sports have talked to have lamented Mac Jones' lack of dual-threat ability. He's simply not a scrambler of any note, and his athletic traits (including raw arm strength) almost certainly will grade as average to below-average compared to other prospects in this class and the NFL's upper-tier QBs.
But June Jones doesn't see it that way.
"Mac's deep-ball accuracy is probably the best that I have graded in my years of coaching quarterbacks," June Jones said. "He’s almost at 55 percent at over 20 yards, which is unbelievable."