The Patriots have their hopeful franchise quarterback of the future in house, and they didn’t need to make a power play in order to bring him on.
New England entered the 2021 NFL Draft as one of the league’s most quarterback-needy teams, but many thought Bill Belichick and Co. wouldn’t be able to land one of this year’s top signal-caller prospects at No. 15. That proved not to be the case, as Mac Jones fell in the Patriots’ lap in the middle of the first round.
Although the top 10 picks of the draft shook out in New England’s favor, it would have been tough to knock the Patriots for moving up to pick a QB. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to arguably the most important position in all of sports. But as NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport explained Wednesday on “The Greg Hill Show,” New England was confident enough in its intel to stay put.
“They didn’t trade up because I believe, obviously the Patriots have pretty good information, they knew they didn’t need to,” Rapoport said, as transcribed by WEEI. “And obviously they were right. I know the Vikings (No. 14 overall) had some interest in Justin Fields ? and once he was gone everyone knew the Vikings were going to bail because they were making calls to teams behind them to possibly move back, right? The Vikings were looking at quarterback a little bit and then ended up moving back.
“Once that happened, the Patriots knew no one else was coming up for Mac Jones. To them, it was really more of a value, like, ‘Why would we move up if we clearly don’t have to? We’re just going to wait.’ And if they missed him, it would be a poorly calculated gamble, but they didn’t. They got him. So to me, that is just the Patriots having really good information and (predicting) the draft board falling as it did.”
The approach to drafting Jones wasn’t the only inside information Rapoport provided about the Patriots on Wednesday. The veteran NFL insider also shared the Alabama product’s chances of starting over Cam Newton as a rookie.