Did Mac Jones give the Panthers something to think about?

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mac Jones
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mac Jones /
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Carolina Panthers
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mac Jones /

How would Mac Jones fit on the Carolina Panthers?

It wouldn’t be the sexiest pick in the world. But the fact of the matter is that if the Carolina Panthers want to select Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL Draft, they might have to take the prospect at No. 8 overall.

This was a situation predicted by Pro Football Focus prior to Monday night’s game. Their latest mock draft had the Panthers taking Jones and claimed that he had now surpassed quarterback Trey Lance, who is seen as a high risk, high reward prospect coming out of North Dakota State.

One thing is for certain, Jones couldn’t have done anymore to stake his claim for such an honor.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule will get the chance to see Jones up close during the 2021 Senior Bowl, which could be hugely significant in the overall outcome of Carolina’s draft plans.

If the former Baylor man likes what he sees from Jones both on and off the field, then he’ll become a leading contender whether the team’s fanbase likes it or not.

Jones doesn’t have what is considered to be elite arm strength, which is half the problem when one examines Teddy Bridgewater’s production this season. However, the weapons he had at Alabama pair well to what’s currently at the Panthers’ disposal and there wouldn’t be a significant amount of pressure on the prospect coming in and immediately making a difference.

Bridgewater’s contract doesn’t have an out until 2022. This would give Jones a chance to adjust to the next level, work on potential problems regarding his game, and get some helpful hints from a veteran before taking his place in the starting lineup.

Spending the No. 8 selection on Jones does seem like a reach, especially when one considers the talented individuals in other positions that could be day one starters in Carolina.

What direction Rhule and the Panthers go could have substantial ramifications. Jones has left his mark throughout the season, but only time will tell as to whether this is enough for Carolina to take the plunge.