New England Patriots QB Mac Jones has been stellar in his rookie season

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, has had a stellar rookie season and is now a “veteran” as the teams that passed him continue to lament missing out on the talented gunslinger.

As Bill Belichick is known to say, when you’ve played a pre-season and 16 games, you’re a veteran. That’s what Jones is now, or at least must be. There will be no, “he’s a rookie” excuses from now on.

The New England Patriots will be headed to the playoffs after one final game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 18. There are no rookies in the playoffs, only winners and losers.

The New England Patriots hit the jackpot on the 15th pick in the NFL draft

While four other quarterbacks were selected before him in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mac Jones slid to the Patriots at pick 15. Was it calculated as some think (not shared here), or did they just luck out?

Who knows. Whatever they did, it has worked out just fine for the red, white, blue, and silver, thank you.

Other teams that drafted a quarterback before Jones are now trying to justify their own teams’ pick. Don’t waste your time. They won’t measure up to the Patriots young guy.

Like many Patriots devotees, this space had hoped for a major move upward by the Patriots to select either Trey Lance or Justin Fields.

Both are super-talented, dual-threat, run and pass guys. That aspect of their game is always intriguing, as this space had also hoped for a similar talent, Jalen Hurts, as a Patriots’ pick back in 2020.

Yet, post-draft after doing additional research on the young fellow they did select, it was plain as day that Mac Jones was special.

It was clear that Jones’ throwing accuracy was the key to his game and that it indeed was, “on another level” from most NFL quarterbacks, especially rookies.

Jones has proven those suggestions in spades. He currently sits with a 67.6 completion percentage after 16 games. He’s also thrown 21 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions.

Only two aberrational games against the Indianapolis Colts and the Buffalo Bills have kept that passing percentage below a healthy 70 percent plus. Yet, even 67 percent is a great first-season achievement.

Mac Jones has exceeded the New England Patriots expectations, and then some

The Patriots beefed up their entire squad this offseason in large part due to a massive spending spree prompted by team owner Robert Kraft’s dissatisfaction with the 2020 season.

Mr. Kraft literally “put his money where his mouth was” as he ponied up a guaranteed $155M or so in free agency to allow the Patriots to revamp their languid 2020 squad.

Mr. Kraft also made it perfectly clear that he wanted a stellar draft and a new, presumably young, quarterback to lead the team into its next generation of success.

One can’t say anything but that head coach Bill Belichick got the message and he and his new Director of Player Personnel, Dave Ziegler, proceeded to add key pieces in free agency and in the draft.

In fact, the 2021 Patriots draft rivals (at least in observing it first season) some of the best drafts in the team’s entire history.

In addition to Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and running back Rhamondre Stevenson have been outstanding.

Next. Patriots season has officially come full circle. dark

Barmore is the best defensive lineman seen in these parts since the fantastic Vince Wilfork. Stevenson is reminiscent of LeGarrette Blount, an all-time favorite here.

But the star of the draft and the show to date has been Jones. For certain, it will be Jones’ performance in the Wild Card playoff game that will determine if the Patriots are a “one-and-done” team or advance to the Divisional Round or maybe higher.

That’s yet to be seen, but as one movie hero, a Navy pilot named Maverick once noted, “it’s looking good so far”. Let’s see how far Jones can take this Cinderella team. It may be further than we think.