Patriots 2021 NFL Draft: Mac Jones was molded for New England

CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: Mac Jones poses onstage after being selected 15th by the New England Patriots during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - APRIL 29: Mac Jones poses onstage after being selected 15th by the New England Patriots during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Bill Belichick finally did it. He drafted a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting former Alabama slinger Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick. For all the build up to selecting a quarterback, most New England Patriots fans seemed let down by the selection, which was a somewhat confusing proposition.

With Jones and fellow Ohio State QB Justin Fields sliding down the board, Patriots fans everywhere were giddy with the proposition that Fields may just fall to New England at 15.

But the Chicago Bears foiled that plan, making an aggressive trade with the New York Giants, and ended selecting Fields four picks ahead of Jones at 11th overall.

While the prospect of Fields is tantalizing, look at what Chicago had to give up to move up the board and get him. Not only did they give up their 20th overall selection in this year’s draft, but they also had to part ways with their first round selection next year too.

That’s a huge price to pay for any quarterback, let alone a guy many draft evaluators had mixed opinions on throughout the buildup to the draft, which ultimately led to Fields slipping this low on the board in the first place.

Instead, the Patriots stood pat, and ended up watching Jones fall right to them, and fans were upset.

They didn’t have to make a big move like the Bears or San Francisco 49ers, or be perennially awful like the Jacksonville Jaguars or New York Jets, and still ended up with one of the top five quarterbacks available. He may not be the guy you wanted, but given what teams were giving up to get their guy, New England didn’t have to anything, and still ended up with their guy.

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You can argue that Belichick didn’t want Jones and just settled for him, but Belichick is the king of trading back in the draft, and certainly would have had he not felt comfortable with Jones.

Belichick clearly saw how the board was falling, and felt comfortable he could get his guy at 15, which ultimately ended up proving true.

Why Mac Jones was the better fit for the New England Patriots

Mac Jones is easily a better fit in a Josh McDaniels run offense than Justin Fields would be, as his pocket passer style is a much truer fit than Fields run-and-gun style.

Jones has great accuracy on his passes, and his decision-making tendencies were fantastic during his time running the Crimson Tide offense. He may not be as mobile as other guys in this draft, but that has never been the Patriots preference in QB’s. If he can throw it, that’s what matters, and that’s why selecting Jones makes sense for New England.

Jones also showed that the bright lights don’t affect him, with his performance in the National Championship Game a prime example of that. Jones stat line (36/45, 464 YDS, 5 TD) was far superior to that of Justin Fields (17/33, 194 YDS, 1TD), who was on the losing side of the contest with Ohio State.

Sure, you can make the case that Alabama was a far superior team than Ohio State which led to Jones inflated numbers, but you still have to hit your throws, and Jones proved he can do that time and again throughout his college career.

Even with all this, there’s a very high chance that Jones won’t be the starting quarterback come Week 1. Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham will presumably break camp ahead of Jones on the depth chart, and Newton is the starter of the offense for this upcoming season until told otherwise.

This may be for the better though. Should this plan follow course, it will allow Jones a year to get acclimated with New England’s offense, which is much more ideal than throwing a first year guy into the fire right as the season starts.

While I’m in no way suggesting a similar outcome will happen, look at what happened after Patrick Mahomes spent a season waiting in the wings behind Alex Smith in Kansas City. (For what it’s worth, Mahomes was also passed up by the Chicago Bears, who swung a huge deal for Mitch Trubisky. Just saying)

And if Newton struggles, like he did for so much of last season, you turn the ball over to Jones and get him so valuable, low stakes reps in games that have already been decided. We already saw what Jarrett Stidham had to offer last season in the same situations, and the results weren’t promising.

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Overall, there really isn’t too much to not like about the Patriots selecting Jones. They didn’t have to do anything, they just sat at 15 and got their guy, but people seem to be freaking out because they didn’t make a big move.

Patience is often times the best course of option, and just as the New England Patriots were patient in letting Mac Jones come to them, Patriots fans should be patient in letting Mac Jones show us what he’s made of.