Through one week of preseason action, Mac Jones has a leg up on his fellow first-round quarterbacks from the 2021 NFL Draft.
According to Pro Football Focus, the New England Patriots rookie had the strongest performance among the five passers who went in the first 15 picks in April.
PFF, an analytically driven site, seems to back up what the eye test is already telling us when it comes to Jones, who was the fifth quarterback taken after Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields. One local writer has already compared Jones to a young Tom Brady.
Jones completed 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards on Thursday against the Washington Football Team, a game the Patriots won 22-13 on the strength of two Rhamondre Stevens touchdown runs.
In terms of passer rating, however, Jones ranked last with a 78.2 mark vs. Washington. Fields, who completed 14 of 20 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown for the Chicago Bears, led the group with a 106.7 rating.
Perhaps the only thing smaller than the sample size of the opening weekend of the preseason would be the stakes of the exhibitions. But it's reassuring that Jones, the first quarterback New England drafted in the first round since Drew Bledsoe in 1993, held his own in his debut and has some advanced numbers to back it up.