Patriots Talk Podcast: Pat McAfee joins to talk Belichick, Deshaun, and ‘Bama prospects


There's no shortage of intriguing prospects in this year's NFL Draft.

That was made clear in Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship between Alabama and Ohio State. Alabama wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith put on a show with 12 catches, 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. There was plenty of star power around him as well, including fellow wideout Jaylen Waddle, running back Najee Harris and quarterback Mac Jones.

So what should we make of these names with the draft only a few months away? It's an important question with the New England Patriots possessing the 15th overall pick, and Pat McAfee joined Tom E. Curran on a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast to help answer it.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Pat McAfee joins to talk Belichick, Deshaun, and ‘Bama prospects | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Like everyone else who tuned in to Monday night's matchup, McAfee came away extremely impressed with Smith. He even went as far as to compare him to one of the NFL's best wideouts.

"It's one of those things whenever you watch [Alabama] play he's like their Tyreek Hill almost," McAfee said. "The way [offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian] was using him in motion and basically trying to hide him ... Any time you're a wide receiver and you win the Heisman, especially in the world we're in right now, I love the fact he went out there and was almost was like 'this is why' basically. ... In the whole first half, it was unbelievable to watch that dude work.

Perry: Is Smith the best fit for Pats among Alabama WRs?

Smith's quarterback, Mac Jones, had himself a night as well and may have positioned himself to be a first-round draft selection. But as McAfee notes, NFL front offices have plenty to evaluate when it comes to the Crimson Tide signal-caller.

"For Mac Jones, it feels like with Devonta Smith there's a lot of wide-open throws, but every college quarterback's like that," he said. "I think the way you have to judge Mac Jones, and I'd assume a lot of GMs are doing this and scouting departments is, they're looking for those plays where it isn't Sarkisian's scheme that is just scheming up a wide-open player.

"Now granted, he's had to be able to read defenses with how much motion they have and everything, so I think mentally he's got it. But physically, will he be the guy who can throw people open, who can put a ball in a keyhole if he has to? I think that's what people are going to have to look into."

Also discussed in the new episode: Reaction to Bill Belichick declining the Presidential Medal of Freedom offer from Donald Trump. Is Mac Jones worthy of a first-round pick for the Patriots? And McAfee on a punter's role when stomping opponents' logos.

Check out the latest episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: