4 draft prospects the Carolina Panthers should avoid at No. 8

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Barmore
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Christian Barmore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Syndication: Tuscaloosa News) Mac Jones /

Mac Jones – QB (Alabama)

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is one of the more polarizing figures in the 2021 NFL Draft. His 2020 season under center for the Crimson Tide was nothing short of exceptional on their way to a convincing National Championship triumph. But there are plenty of skeptics who wonder whether his skills can make a smooth transition to the NFL.

Jones was described as “an alpha” by Matt Rhule after practice sessions at the Senior Bowl. He also tried to recruit the player during his time at Temple, which doesn’t exactly guarantee the signal-caller will be on the Carolina Panthers’ radar, but it is a strong indicator of what the head coach thinks of the prospect.

The main worry regarding Jones is mobility. He played behind a dominant offensive line in college and given the fact he wouldn’t necessarily get that if the Panthers took him at No. 8, it could come with some complications.

He doesn’t have what one would call elite arm strength, either. This was one of the moans surrounding Teddy Bridgewater‘s inconsistent campaign and although Jones does come with some upside, taking him so high would be a significant reach.

Only Rhule and Scott Fitterer will know if Jones is truly a candidate to be their quarterback of the future. Whichever way they go, it could shape their short and long-term aspirations in no uncertain terms.