The New England Patriots selected Mac Jones with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and so far the decision has looked pretty good.
Jones played quite well in training camp and the preseason, which helped him win the starting quarterback job over veteran Cam Newton.
The Alabama product is one of three QBs taken in the first round of the last draft who will start for their teams in Week 1, joining No. 1 pick Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars and No. 2 pick Zach Wilson of the New York Jets. The other two first-round QBs -- Trey Lance of the San Francisco 49ers and Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears -- are not expected to start the opener.
The Jones hype train is firing on all cylinders with the start of the regular season just a few days away. One of Jones' biggest fans in the media is former New Orleans Saints quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst Drew Brees.
“So as I was watching the draft, the minute the Patriots took Mac Jones at 15th, I said, that’s the steal of the draft,” Brees said on a recent NBC Sports conference call, as transcribed by WEEI. “It’s probably the guy who is most ready to play NFL quarterback right now, of all the guys who were taken before. His level of execution last year at Alabama, and I know we can sit here and argue he’s got the best players on the field on his side, on both sides of the ball, but in watching the National Championship game, that’s where it became very evident to me. This guy’s level of execution, his understanding of offensive football, his timing, his rhythm, his ability not only to make the routine throws, but to make throws that you’re going to need to make at the next level in order to win games and take care of the football the way he did, I felt like he was the most NFL ready.”
Brees added: “For all those reasons I think Mac Jones is going to have the most success of any rookie quarterback, not just this year but probably for the next few years."
Jones showed plenty of poise, throwing accuracy and a good command of the offense during camp and the preseason. His understanding of the Patriots playbook has been well above the other rookie quarterbacks the team has drafted over the last 15 or so years.
He makes quick reads, doesn't force a ton of passes and as a result doesn't make many mistakes. These qualities (and others) should make Jones a good fit for an offense that could feature one of the best rushing attacks in the league this season.
We'll get our first taste of Jones in regular season action Sunday afternoon when the Patriots host the rival Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. It will be a matchup between two Alabama quarterbacks who won national titles -- Jones and Tua Tagovailoa.
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