Mac Jones said after being drafted by the Patriots that he secretly wanted to land with New England.
And it doesn’t appear those comments were lip service.
Not only has Jones’ father since confirmed his son’s desire to play for Bill Belichick in New England. The quarterback’s former Pop Warner youth football coach, Eric Yost, also recalls Jones at a young age wanting to follow in Tom Brady’s footsteps and play for the Patriots.
“Mac has always wanted to be a Patriot,” Yost said Saturday on WEEI’s “The Fitzy & Mego Show.” “He was always a huge Tom Brady fan and always emulated Brady.”
Well, Jones now has a chance to become Brady’s long-term successor in Foxboro. Cam Newton started for the Patriots in 2020 after Brady’s departure and currently sits atop New England’s QB depth chart, but it’s just a matter of time before Jones is thrust into action.
There was some speculation before the 2021 NFL Draft a couple of weeks ago that the Patriots might need to trade up to land Jones, who’s coming off an impressive college season in which he led Alabama to a national championship. Jones fell all the way to the Patriots at No. 15 in Round 1, however, it could wind up being the perfect match.
“I ran into his dad at the hardware store,” Yost said on WEEI. “We talked a lot, and they were really, really wanting to go with the Patriots.”
Jones is the first quarterback selected by New England in the first round in the Belichick era, which began in 2000. In fact, he’s the first QB selected by the Patriots in the first round since Drew Bledsoe was nabbed with the No. 1 overall pick in 1993.
As such, expectations and pressure are high as the 22-year-old prepares for his rookie season. And Jones probably wouldn’t have it any other way based on what we’ve come to learn about him.