The Bears have been doing their homework on one of the top quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
During his press conference at Alabama’s Pro Day on Monday, Mac Jones confirmed to Windy City Gridiron that he has met formally with the Bears. He confirmed this after also stating that he casually met with all 32 teams at the Senior Bowl.
“Yeah, I’ve met with [the Bears],” Jones explained. “It was a really great meeting. We just talked football for an hour straight. That’s the best type of meeting for me: just talking ball. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk to them more and see where that relationship heads, as well.”
Jones is one of five quarterbacks widely considered as Round 1 locks in April’s draft. He took over the starting quarterback role in 2019 for Alabama upon an injury to Tua Tagovailoa. Jones started in four games as a redshirt sophomore, going 3-1. He truly came into his own in 2020, however, leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship and an undefeated season. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, finishing behind Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama teammate and wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the latter of whom having won the award.
In 13 starts, Jones finished with 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions with a 77.4 completion percentage. His yardage and percentage totals led the entire FBS, and his passing touchdown totals finished second only to Florida’s Kyle Trask.
The Bears currently have the No. 20 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. While they signed Andy Dalton to a one-year deal, they don’t have a long-term option in place at the quarterback position. Selecting Jones would likely require a trade up, and there’s no guarantee he would fall out of the top five picks to begin with. With the 49ers trading up to the No. 3 selection and the Falcons still holding the No. 4 pick, there’s a possibility Jones could be picked by either of those teams.
Regardless, it’s clear that the Bears likely need to find a young quarterback option in either of the next two drafts. With Jones being one of the best the 2021 draft has to offer, the team would be foolish not to get to know him.