The New England Patriots made headlines Thursday night by dedicating their first-round pick, No. 15 overall, to Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
Jones, who was expected to go No. 3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers throughout the last few weeks, fell to New England, and the Patriots did not disappoint fans with the selection.
It seems a number of NFL analysts feel the same way.
Here’s a run down of how five NFL experts reacted to the Patriots’ selection either Thursday night or Friday morning.
ESPN’s Louis Riddick: “… Mac fit the style of offense that Bill had typically played over the past 20 years in New England with Tom (Brady). It’s the kind of quarterback that Josh McDaniels is used to coaching, from a physical skills perspective, and its going to work perfectly for them,” Riddick said on the ESPN broadcast immediately following the No. 15 overall pick. “If you’re Mac Jones, you’re going ‘I’m disappointed (to fall in the draft),’ but man, I’m walking into a place right now where I know exactly how they’re going to do business. I just came from it with (Alabama coach) Nick (Saban). And look, when you talk about fit, when you talk about culture, when you talk about expectations, he’s going to a place where he already knows what it’s going to be like. That’s exactly what you want.”
ESPN’s Booger McFarland: “Well, when you look at Josh McDaniels, now he can call the offense the way he called an offense with Tom Brady. A guy that you know where he’s going to be. He can be accurate with the football downfield,” McFarland said on the ESPN broadcast following the selection. “You want to play-action pass with this massive offense line that the Patriots have? He’s done that at Alabama. All the processing — I know where I’m going with the ball before its even snapped. That’s all we heard all during draft season — the processing, the accuracy, the decision making. Last time I checked, those are the most important things you have to have to be a quarterback. This is not a relay race. I don’t care how fast you run the 40, I don’t care how fast you can come around in the 200, can you deliver the football accurately and make great decisions? That describes Mac Jones to a T.”
ESPN’s Todd McShay: “… I mean there is only one Tom Brady, but he does have that skillset. He’s the old-school pocket passer,” McShay said on “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” after the first round concluded Thursday. “He doesn’t have great mobility but he’s very good and efficient inside the pocket. He has a tremendous feel. Accuracy is outstanding. And he has the fastest eyes of any of quarterbacks in this year’s class. He can process from progression one to two to three as fast as I’ve seen a quarterback in a long time coming out of the college ranks. And he only has 17 starts, so you have to assume he’s going to get better and better.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: “And so I love this fit, and Bill Belichick & Co. didn’t have to trade up to get Jones,” Kiper wrote while including the Patriots in his Round 1 winners. “Since the buzz the past few weeks has been around San Francisco’s interest in Jones, I really didn’t think he’d make it to the middle of Round 1. He’s going to compete with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham (both of whom played at rival Auburn) for the QB1 job now, and I think he has a chance to play early. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will coach him hard…”
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky: “Mac Jones to New England, it’s the best pick of this draft,” Orlovsky said in a video posted to his Twitter account. “It’s the best pick of this draft. Awesome offensive line, obviously a ton of weapons that they?ve added, two really good tight ends, pieces on the outside, dominant run game and you get to go to Bill Belichick. That’s the best pick of this draft so far. Outside of San Francisco taking (him), this is the best thing that could?ve happened to Mac Jones.”
While we’re sure there’s at least one or two people out there who think the Patriots botched the pick (and yes, that includes try-hard media personality Skip Bayless), it seems like the praise is essentially unanimous.