New England Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones was named to the NFL’s Top 100 Players list entering the 2022 campaign, but the reveal has prompted outspoken skepticism from media members and fans about the Alabama product.
NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman is one of them. The NFL writer on Sunday night published a list citing five things the players got wrong in the Top 100 of 2022.
Bergman included Jones, who was recognized at No. 85 overall in the players-voted poll, as the first thing players were incorrect on.
” … There’s no doubt Mac Jones, who won the starting job over veteran Cam Newton in training camp and led New England back to the postseason after a one-year hiatus, had the best season of his rookie compatriots, beating Davis Mills by a neck or two. But was it outstanding enough to warrant peer submission into the league’s upper echelon out the gate?” Bergman wrote. “QBs coming off their rookie year have cracked the Top 100 before, most notably Dak Prescott at No. 14 in 2017, Robert Griffin III at No. 15 in 2013 and Justin Herbert at No. 56 just last year. But each of those men had just won Offensive Rookie of the Year, an honor Jones looked primed to receive before being outran by the obvious correct selection, Ja’Marr Chase.”
Jones, who was the fifth quarterback selected in the 2021 NFL Draft at No. 15 overall, was the only rookie signal-caller selected to the Top 100. He threw for 3,800 yards with 22 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and was named a Pro Bowl replacement following a regular season in which he went 10-7.
“But I’d argue, despite what the players say, that a rookie QB shouldn’t be considered among the league’s top 100 unless he pulls off a truly transcendent first year, à la Dak or RGIII, one that maybe doesn’t end with four losses in five games, including a 30-point playoff blowout at the hands of a division rival,” Bergman wrote. “Ask yourself: Would you rather go into the 2022 season in the AFC with Jones under center or Matt Ryan and/or Ryan Tannehill, neither of whom was among the 14 quarterbacks to make this year’s list? Let’s see Jones with a rocket scientist calling plays for him before ranking him among the stars.”
Bergman’s opinions clearly don’t reflect the majority of players around the NFL, however. Jones garnered plenty of praise from the likes of Marlon Humphrey, Demario Davis, Chandler Jones and others, as shown during the show on NFL Network two weeks ago.
It’ll be up to the second-year signal-caller to make Bergman and others eat their own words with the Patriots now getting set for their regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11.