Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

DUI described as a ‘transitional event’ for Mac Jones, potential 49ers draft pick

Apr 7, 2021 at 9:48 AM--

Much has been made of Mac Jones' DUI in 2017. Some would say that not enough has been made of it while evaluating the former Alabama quarterback's character. However, a recent feature from sheds some light on the incident and how it altered Jones' path.

At the time, Jones was a redshirt freshman and the third quarterback on the depth chart. In the very early hours of November 3, 2017, Jones was involved in a car accident, underwent a sobriety test, and was then arrested for driving under the influence. He was also charged with improper ID by a minor. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident.

"We are disappointed in Mac's actions and this is obviously not the kind of behavior we expect from our players," coach Nick Saban said via a statement following the arrest.'s Chase Goodbread writes that Jones was concerned about how his father would view the then 19-year-old's lapse in judgment. It immediately shifted his priorities.

"I focused on what was important to me, which was football." Jones said via Goodbread. "On nights when people would be going out, I would go to the indoor [football facility], throw into a net, watch film by myself. I'd usually close all the doors."

Jones eventually became the starter for the Crimson Tide, and this past season, led the team to a national championship. Surrounded by an abundance of talent, the quarterback completed 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

"For me, that (DUI) incident was a transitional event for Mac," said former Alabama wide receiver Mac Hereford. "… He didn't go out anymore. He locked in and put his head down. He was balling before, but after that it was more of an 'I'm kicking ass and taking names' kind of vibe."

While many view a Jones-to-49ers scenario as a done deal, much of that seems to be built on speculation. Other than maybe a select few of those inside the building, no one can say with complete confidence what head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will do on April 29. The team appears to be keeping its quarterback evaluations "close to the vest."

Jones had what many feel was the best offensive line in front of him. He was throwing to likely first-round wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and handing the ball off to another potential first-rounder in running back Najee Harris.

Massive media speculation has led oddsmakers to list Jones as the favorite for San Francisco at No. 3. Of course, it could still be Justin Fields or Trey Lance, who are seen as prospects with more long-term upside. Saban believes in his former quarterback's ability to find success in the NFL, though.

"(NFL teams) are going to fall in love with a guy who is really a hard worker, a good leader, and the guy is very committed to being the best player he can be," Saban told NFL Network after Jones' first pro day. "He's smart, he's going to know the offense inside and out, he makes quick decisions, has great judgment, and he's very accurate with the ball. I think the combination of those things is going to make him a fine player at the next level."

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