4 boom-or-bust prospects the Panthers might gamble on in 2021

(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images) Trey Lance /
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Carolina Panthers
(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Mac Jones /

Mac Jones – QB (Alabama)

Although Mac Jones comes into the NFL on the back of an incredible season with Alabama, there are plenty of skeptics who don’t think his skill set will make a successful transition to the pros. The growing speculation linking the signal-caller with the San Francisco 49ers reached fever-pitch when Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch chose to go to his pro day over checking out Justin Fields at Ohio State, which would be a bombshell decision in no uncertain terms.

Jones certainly looks the part.

He is a good decision-maker with some accurate distribution. But he was playing in front of an outstanding offensive line with the Crimson Tide and also had the benefit of two exceptional wide receivers in DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, who could both go in the top-10 this month.

Simply put, the reaction to the Carolina Panthers picking Jones would not be positive.

They saw enough of an immobile quarterback who couldn’t get the ball downfield last year in Teddy Bridgewater. If the organization went with someone who possessed similar traits, it is a substantial gamble that would define the tenures of Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer.

There is a chance Jones becomes a top professional. He is confident, has quality leadership skills, and is incredibly intelligent both in preparation for game day and making adjustments at the line of scrimmage.

Carolina selecting Jones would fracture a fanbase that is still recovering from Cam Newton’s departure last year. If it doesn’t pan out, the ramifications will be severe.