The New England Patriots got acquainted with Alabama quarterback Mac Jones this week at the 2021 Senior Bowl.
Jones, the top QB prospect participating in this year’s all-star showcase, told reporters he met with Patriots scouts Wednesday night.
“We had a good conversation,” Jones said after Thursday’s Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, Ala. “We talked, and they got to know me real well. … The Patriots were really fun. They asked a lot of good questions.”
The big question following Jones as he prepares for the 2021 NFL Draft is how he’ll fare outside of Alabama’s loaded, national championship-winning offense.
The 22-year-old led the nation in completion percentage and yards per attempt in his first year as a full-time starter but had the benefit of playing alongside elite skill players, like receiver DeVonta Smith and running back Najee Harris, and behind the best offensive line in college football. His relative lack of athleticism compared to other top-tier QB prospects is another concern.
Jones has acquitted himself well this week, though, showing the same type of accuracy and anticipation he displayed with the Crimson Tide. He’s been mentioned as a potential first-round target for the Patriots — who have selected Alabama players in each of the last two drafts and four of the last six — at No. 15 overall.
It’s unclear whether Jones will participate in Saturday’s Senior Bowl game. He injured his ankle during Thursday’s practice and said there’s “a chance” he’ll sit out, per Jim McBride of The Boston Globe.
Jones is widely considered the fifth-best quarterback prospect in this year’s class behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
The Patriots also met with QB Jamie Newman, who opted out of this past season after transferring to Georgia. Newman previously played at Wake Forest, where his left tackle was 2020 Patriots draft pick Justin Herron.
“I really like (the Patriots) organization,” Newman told reporters, via McBride.
With Cam Newton and Brian Hoyer set to become free agents, the Patriots currently have just two quarterbacks under contract for the 2021 season: Jarrett Stidham and 2020 practice squadder Jake Dolegala.