Why Todd McShay Loves Patriots Landing Mac Jones In 2021 NFL Draft

McShay has Jones-to-New England among his "best picks" of Round 1

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Mel Kiper Jr. isn’t the only ESPN NFL draft expert who believes the New England Patriots deserve praise for selecting Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick Thursday night.

Todd McShay also is high on Bill Belichick’s magic act, explaining Friday that New England landing Jones was among the “best picks” of Round 1.

Jones was the fifth QB chosen in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, behind Trevor Lawrence (No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars), Zach Wilson (No. 2 to the New York Jets), Trey Lance (No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers) and Justin Fields (No. 11 to the Chicago Bears after a trade with the New York Giants).

“But just as I like the Bears taking the opportunity to move up for a quarterback, I also like the way the New England Patriots stood their ground and still landed Jones at No. 15,” McShay wrote for ESPN.com. “Trading up, especially into the top 10, never felt like a true Bill Belichick move. And he didn’t have to do it. Jones is going to fit really well in that offense, too. He is accurate and has fast eyes, reading the field and delivering the ball with touch and precision. Watch him stand in the pocket and throw receivers open. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

There had been a ton of pre-draft speculation over whether the Patriots would trade up for a quarterback. Just as there had been a ton of pre-draft speculation over whether the 49ers would choose Jones at No. 3 after moving up from No. 12 in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins.

But in the end, the Jones-Patriots connection was meant to be. And both Jones and Belichick seem to be happy about how everything transpired, even though the Patriots coach was quick to point out that Cam Newton remains New England’s quarterback.

It’ll be fascinating to see how the quarterback situation in Foxboro develops in the coming months.

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