Sunday's New England Patriots-Jacksonville Jaguars game will be a battle between two first-round rookie quarterbacks as Mac Jones will take on top pick Trevor Lawrence.
Jones, the 15th overall pick and the fifth QB selected in the 2021 draft, has enjoyed a much more successful rookie campaign than Lawrence has. The Alabama product is a frontrunner for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award with his team on the brink of a playoff berth. Meanwhile, Lawrence is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions and the Jaguars are 2-13 on the season.
Of course, landing in the right situation can make or break a young QB. Jones has benefitted greatly by having Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels there to guide him. Lawrence was thrown into the fire during Jacksonville's failed Urban Meyer experiment, and he didn't exactly have a wealth of offensive weapons to work with in the first place.
That begs the question, is Jones a better fit for New England than Lawrence would've been if the Patriots had the chance to take him in the draft? Tom E. Curran, Phil Perry, and Matt Cassel discussed during a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.
Curran and Cassel both believe that while Lawrence may be the more "talented" quarterback, the Patriots got the better fit for the offense with Jones.
"If you put (Lawrence) here instead of Mac Jones -- I am not saying Mac Jones is a better football player than Trevor Lawrence and that Trevor Lawrence shouldn't have gone number one," Curran said. "But I think if you're looking for the perfect fit for this team this year, Mac probably fit more seamlessly than Trevor Lawrence would have."
"I agree with you," Cassel said. "This was the perfect fit for the type of offense they wanted to run. And also, where he came from in Alabama with Nick Saban, how he was coached, what he went through, and he was ready for the experience. He understood the culture, he understood the environment, the expectation level, and also what was being asked from him at the quarterback position, He didn't have to go out and win every game, but what he did have is consistent play. He had to be smart, he had to understand the defense, he had to make the right checks, make the right calls. He was able to process that, and that's the biggest part of the quarterback position, particularly in the Patriots offense.
"I could absolutely see Trevor Lawrence having a lot more success this year for a number of different reasons. However, Mac Jones was the perfect fit in terms of the quarterback class this year and being pro-ready and going into an offense that was ready for a guy like him to come in and take the reins."
Also discussed in this episode: Are wins a quarterback stat? Cassel on whether Lawrence is better than what we are seeing in his first year. And recapping the top moments from the Patriots' 2021 rebuild.