What Patriots Liked About Mac Jones Before Drafting Him In First Round

Mac Jones could push for the Patriots' starting job


Jun 3, 2021

The New England Patriots took a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft for the first time in Bill Belichick’s 21-year tenure as head coach earlier this spring when they picked Mac Jones out of Alabama.

So, clearly they thought highly of the Crimson Tide product. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels got into specifics Thursday about what New England liked about Jones.

“Look, Mac, he’s won a lot of games in the last year-plus at Alabama,” McDaniels said. “He’s played in some big games, some pressure situations. He takes care of the football. He’s demonstrated an ability to function at a pretty high level in their system and their offense with their terminology. He competed in a league that is, I would say, is widely regarded as one of the top conferences, if not the top conference, in all of college football. To play the position of quarterback there’s not just one thing you need to do well. He certainly stood out in certain obvious ways relative to throwing the football and command and protecting the ball and not hurting his football team. A lot to look at and digest when you studied him.”

Jones led Alabama to a 12-0 record in 2020 while having one of the most efficient passing seasons in college football history, completing 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

His standing on New England’s depth chart is murky, though he was taking second-team reps last Thursday at organized team activities spring practices. Cam Newton is still penciled in as the Patriots’ starter, but Jones could potentially push him for that role during training camp and preseason this summer.

Newton only is signed to a one-year deal, so Jones is at least expected to be New England’s starter of the future in 2022 and beyond.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Adler/New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton
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