You’d have to go all the way back to 1995 for the last time a New England Patriots player won Offensive Rookie of the Year.
ESPN believes there’s a chance that drought could come to an end in the upcoming NFL season.
Tasked with offering a bold prediction for the 2021 Patriots, reporter Mike Reiss tabbed Mac Jones with the prestigious honor for first-year offensive players.
“The No. 15 overall pick has come a long way in a short time,” Reiss wrote. “The things he is doing as a rookie running the Patriots’ traditional system ? such as setting protections and calling audibles ? are next-level stuff. One excellent preseason practice against the New York Giants, in particular, stood out as a preview of what could be coming.”
A realistic opportunity to win OROY now is there for Jones, who was named New England’s starting quarterback at the end of August. After starting off with 10-to-1 odds to win the award at virtually all sportsbooks, the Alabama product has dropped all the way to a +350 bet at some shops. Folks around the league also believe Jones could edge out the likes of Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson for the honor.
Of course, these expectations probably are due in large to Jones’ surroundings. He’ll benefit from a tremendous coaching staff, great offensive line, a potent rushing attack and solid pass-catching options.
Now, it’s up to the 23-year-old to make the most of his favorable situation.