The New England Patriots took a chance on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones by selecting him with the No. 15 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and so far, the results have been encouraging.
Jones impressed during training camp practices, joint practices versus the Eagles and Giants, as well as the three preseason games.
His performance was good enough to win the starting quarterback job over veteran Cam Newton, who was released by the Patriots last week.
One scenario that would be great for the Patriots is if Jones plays as well as Joe Burrow did for the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Burrow, who like Jones played in the SEC (at LSU) and won a national title before being drafted, was in the midst of a fantastic rookie campaign before a torn ACL injury sidelined him after 10 games.
ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay recently drew comparisons between Jones and Burrow.
"To get a starting quarterback at 15, you rarely get that," McShay said in a story written by ESPN's Mike Reiss. "It was only one year (as a starter) instead of two years (like Burrow), and he's not as mobile as Joe, but it's the same kind of pocket presence and ability to feel where the rush is coming from. And the accuracy and toughness -- mental and physical. He's a special cat, he really is."
Luckily for Jones, the Patriots don't have a difficult schedule over the first half of the season -- they play against just two 2020 playoff teams through Week 9. So there should be plenty of opportunities for Jones to gain valuable experience, go through the normal rookie growing pains and still pick up a bunch of wins before the schedule gets tougher.