Mac Jones undoubtedly has been the NFL’s most impressive rookie quarterback through the first two weeks of the 2021 season.
But league insider Dan Graziano is choosing to take a wait-and-see approach as it relates to Jones potentially winning a prestigious award for first-year players.
Jones is generating plenty of Offensive Rookie of the Year buzz after solid showings against the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. In fact, the Alabama product leapfrogged 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence for the shortest OROY odds following his NFL debut.
But if you were to declare right now that Jones will win the award, Graziano believes that would be an overreaction.
“This award tends to lean toward quarterbacks, and if the Patriots have a good team and Jones spends the season keeping the ball out of trouble, he absolutely could win it,” Graziano wrote for ESPN.com. “The quarterbacks who would be his direct competition aren’t off to great starts. (Zach) Wilson had a brutal day Sunday. Justin Fields didn’t show a ton in relief of the injured Andy Dalton in Chicago. Trevor Lawrence’s Jaguars had 189 yards of total offense. Trey Lance watched the 49ers’ game from the bench.
“But the award doesn’t have to go to a quarterback. Joe Burrow seems interested in helping receiver Ja’Marr Chase contend for this award in Cincinnati, finding him for touchdowns in two straight weeks. Kyler Murray seems interested in doing the same for Rondale Moore in Arizona. (Moore scored a 77-yard TD on Sunday.) Long way to go here. Jones has been solid but not spectacular. He’s set up for success, but early returns indicate the Patriots might not ask enough of him to allow for, say, the numbers Justin Herbert put up last season.”
Jones will try to make Graziano start to change his mind Sunday when the Patriots welcome the New Orleans Saints to Gillette Stadium for a Week 3 tilt.