If the thought of Mac Jones as the New England Patriots' next quarterback doesn't get you excited, Charlie Weis is here to change your mind.
Jones is one of many talented quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft but is viewed as a tier below the elite crop of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance. That means the Alabama product could be available for the Patriots with the No. 15 pick.
Weis, New England's offensive coordinator from 2000 to 2004 who won three Super Bowls with head coach Bill Belichick, believes Jones would be a great fit in Foxboro.
"What are the two most important components of a star quarterback? They have the 'it' factor. And they're accurate. That's who he was," Weis said of Jones in a recent SiriusXM NFL Radio interview, via ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Jones completed a ridiculous 77.4% of his passes last season while leading the Crimson Tide to a national title. The QB's detractors note that Jones benefited from a loaded Alabama offense that included a strong offensive line and star skill players. But Weis doesn't count that against Jones.
"You talk about being around good players. Yeah, he was around good players. But playing on a team with a bunch of stars, who is the leader of the offense?" Weis told Reiss. "He also had to make all those throws. I think the kid is an excellent quarterback. He has less holes than just about anybody."
Weis also noted that of this year's QB prospects, Jones "is the one making all the plays," and even compared the 22-year-old to future Hall of Famer Drew Brees.
"(Brees) went in the second round because everyone said, 'He doesn't take any snaps under center and his arm is not strong enough.' All he did was play great at Purdue, and complete almost every pass," Weis said. "How has that worked out?"
The Patriots spoke with Jones at the Senior Bowl and Belichick is close with Alabama head coach Nick Saban, so the QB at least will be on New England's radar. But if Jones thrives in the NFL, it will be an anomaly: The last Crimson Tide quarterback to make a Pro Bowl was Ken Stabler in 1977.