Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is jockeying to be a first-round pick as the 2021 NFL draft inches closer, and if anything’s become clear about his standing as a draft prospect, it’s that his wide receivers — who played with both Jones and Tua Tagovailoa — would rather have Jones throwing passes to them.
Devonta Smith was the first to pick Jones over Tua. Smith, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, wasted little time choosing Jones as his preference, and now his pass-catching teammate Jaylen Waddle is doing the same.
Waddle spoke with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano and echoed Smith’s comments.
“I like Mac Jones too,” Waddle said. “I like Mac Jones. It’s just my preference, both of them are great quarterbacks, but I love Mac. He was the guy I came in with from Day 1, we were on the third team together and we worked our way up.”
So, what are we to make of this? Is this an indictment against Tua or is it just really high praise for Jones?
Tagovailoa was the fifth overall pick by the Dolphins in 2020, and Miami owns two first-rounders this year including the No. 3 overall, which some draft analysts have suggested could be a potential landing spot for Waddle. At No. 18 overall, Miami could target Smith if he has a draft-day slide.
But are either in play now? It could be a public relations nightmare if Miami chooses a wide receiver who came out and picked against their franchise quarterback. I’m not sure who gave these guys advice on how to answer the Jones vs. Tua question, but they would’ve been better off riding the fence if they were hoping to become a Dolphin.