The New England Patriots have their quarterback of the future, and they didn't have to trade up to acquire him.
With the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots have selected Mac Jones out of Alabama. Jones joins Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham on the Patriots' QB depth chart.
In 2020, Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions with the Crimson Tide.
Jones was the fifth QB selected behind Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields. That's exactly where he was ranked in this year's QB class by our own Tom E. Curran.
Here's what Curran had to say about Jones in his QB draft prospect rankings:
Jones had more pitch-and-catch opportunities to completely uncovered receivers than anyone in the country. He had better skill position players in Tuscaloosa than Cam Newton had in Foxboro. That’s not hyperbole.
Jones’ greatest strength is his accuracy, deep ball and ability to work at all three levels. He can move a little but he’s not particularly athletic and if he’s behind a less-than-stellar line, he’s going to have little elusiveness to fall back on. He’s not very powerfully built and the ball doesn’t pop off his hand with velocity like it does for the other four guys. He seems like a guy with a high floor and a low ceiling.
The buzz around him has increased since the national championship and through the Senior Bowl. But if he goes in the top 15, whoever takes him will rue the day.
Our Phil Perry included Jones in his Prototypical Patriots series and believe he is "pro-ready."
Other than some shortcomings when it comes to his level of experience (17 starts, 556 attempts), Jones checks every box and then some for the Patriots. He played in the SEC, against some of the toughest defenses in the country, he won a national title, and he played under Nick Saban.
If you want to go beyond the eight categories we highlighted above (of which he hits seven) and look at Belichick's demands at the quarterback position in those 1990s Browns notes, Jones is one of the best decision-makers (56 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions in his collegiate career) and most accurate passers (no one was more accurate within 10 yards, per Pro Football Focus) in the country.