FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots first-round pick Mac Jones got a taste of what it’s like to play quarterback at Gillette Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The wind was howling in Southeastern Massachusetts as Jones walked onto the Gillette Stadium game field alongside team owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft to be introduced as the Patriots’ 2021 first-round pick.
“This place is really awesome, honestly,” Jones said. “Just a beautiful stadium. I know it’s windy today. Hopefully, it’s not always this windy, but you gotta get used to it.”
Good news for Jones: There are not always 30 MPH wind gusts in Foxboro. But it does feel like the open end of Gillette Stadium creates a wind tunnel on the playing field. So, Jones, the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will have to get used to playing in less-than-ideal weather conditions. He’ll have plenty of opportunities.
The wind was not dampening Jones’ spirit, however. The QB was asked what it was like waking up as a member of the Patriots organization.
“It feels absolutely amazing,” Jones said. “I can’t thank the Kraft family enough. Just to be a part of this is awesome. A lot of work has to be done, but to be on the 50-yard line here is a great moment for me.?
Jones joins Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham on the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart. The Patriots waived quarterback Jake Dolegala on Friday.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick lowered expectations for Jones on Friday morning after drafting the QB. He said that Newton is still “our quarterback” and that Jones, or Stidham, will have to “play better” to beat out the incumbent.
The Patriots went 7-8 with Newton as their starter (and 0-1 with Brian Hoyer at the helm) in 2020. They revamped their roster in a free agency spending splurge and still have nine picks remaining in the draft.