Why the Washington Football Team should draft Mac Jones

Alabama QB Mac Jones. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]
Alabama QB Mac Jones. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.] /

This piece is part of the Riggo’s Rag Roundtable quarterback debate. For more Washington Football Team QB options, click here.

For yet another offseason, the Washington Football Team is in need of some help at the quarterback spot. After Dwayne Haskins flamed out in less than two years on the job, the team is still searching for a long-term solution at the quarterback spot.

While some will argue that the team might have found that in Taylor Heinicke or even Kyle Allen, the fact of the matter is that Washington is looking to address the position this offseason. Ron Rivera and the front office has confirmed as much.

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While they’re not going to make any sort of rash decision or overspend for a player, they are still very much considered to be players in the QB market. And almost certainly, they will add one even if it’s a mid-round draft pick or a cheap free agent.

That said, it seems more likely that Washington will consider a quarterback in the first round if one is available to them. At this point, it’s uncertain if that will happen, but if it does, Mac Jones could end up being the guy for the team.

Why the Washington Football Team should draft Mac Jones

Jones has flown under the radar in a strong quarterback class. He’s widely considered to be the fifth-best quarterback of five likely first-round picks at the position, but in a weaker class, he would be generating a lot more buzz.

The fact of the matter is this. Jones’ playing style isn’t as sexy as some of the top-tier quarterbacks in this class. He’s not as mobile as Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, or Justin Fields. But he does have a couple of strengths that will matter tremendously at the NFL level.

First, Jones is extremely accurate and has excellent ball placement on his throws. While he was surrounded by a strong supporting cast at Alabama, he helped them make the most of their talents by consistently hitting them in stride on his passes. Whether it’s dump-offs, middle-of-the-field throws, deep routes to the far side of the field, you name and Jones can hit it in stride.

Additionally, Jones reads the field very well and very quickly. One of the reasons that he was able to complete such a high percentage of his passes at Alabama (77.4 percent last season) was because he knew where to throw the ball. He picks and chooses when to be aggressive based on the coverage, but if his deep reads aren’t there, he’s perfectly content to take a checkdown and see what happens.

It is fair to question Jones’ athleticism and off-script ability. He didn’t have to scramble much at Alabama and it wasn’t his strength. Regardless of that, Jones can still win games as more of a true pocket passer. Those will never truly go out of style at the NFL level. If you can throw the ball, you can be an effective starter.

Jones can certainly sling it. He gets ample velocity on the ball when he needs to fit it in a tight window. And more importantly, he knows how the ball needs to be thrown. The importance of that cannot be underestimated.

So, why Jones and not another quarterback in this draft class? It’s simple. The other top options you’d have to trade up for. Jones might be there at 19. And the options below Jones aren’t anything more than dart throws. And even if they pan out, they don’t come with the all-important fifth-year option.

Truthfully, so long as Washington adds someone to compete at quarterback this offseason, they should be okay. I happen to be higher on Jones than most. He’s consistent, he’s intelligent, and above all else, he’s a high-floor pick. He should upgrade the team’s QB spot on a rookie quarterback contract without surrendering picks to trade up, that would certainly be ideal.

Now, if Washington had to trade up for Jones, my tone could differ. Then I may look at moving up to get a QB with more upside — or just look to the free-agent market to add a stopgap.

But if he’s there at 19? Go for it. Grab a guy that threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns, and just four interceptions last year. Jones could be the franchise quarterback that the team has long been waiting for. And at the very least, his ability to read the field, avoid turnovers, and throw with pinpoint precision would make him a solid fit for this Washington offense.

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Click the links below to read about each QB option.

Roundtable: Which QB should the Washington Football Team target?