Outside of Matthew Judon and to some degree Rhamondre Stevenson, not many Patriots players get much national attention as far as players other teams must gameplan around.
That could change in 2023, hopefully at the quarterback position.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones in position to take a step forward in 2023
After a tumultuous Year 2 in the NFL, Mac Jones will have a lot to prove in his third season in the NFL. With a new and established offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien and a few more playmakers around him, this upcoming season is a make-or-break season for the young Patriots quarterback. Can he return to the promise he showed as a rookie?
Well, that depends on the commitment of Jones and what he took out of the 2022 NFL season as far as a learning experience. With that, Bleacher Report hasnamed Mac Jones as the Patriot’s most promising building block entering the 2023 NFL season due to that potential he showed as a rookie.
Basically, B/R writer Alex Ballentine is saying throw out that second season and focus more on what Mac Jones showed as the quarterback of the Patriots offense when they had a real offensive coordinator calling the plays.
"“There were all kinds of reasons for optimism after Jones’ rookie season. He was 15th in EPA and excelled under pressure, completing 58.2 percent of his pass attempts while under duress, per Player Profiler.However, his second-season struggles did a lot to wipe out that goodwill. He was 66th in EPA and completed just 34.5 percent of his passes under pressure.”"
Jones did take a step back in his sophomore season, but Mac supporters will quickly point out that he was set up to fail. With the failed experience of Joe Judge and Matt Patricia running the offense, the young quarterback was impacted the most. He also suffered a high ankle sprain that contributed to his struggles.
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Mac Jones is entering a better situation in 2023
Still, there was a mental toughness to Mac Jones that shined through his immature on-the-field behavior at times. Having O’Brien come in over the offseason as well as a couple new playmakers like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki will give him a few more reliable targets.
At the very least, he should look more comfortable in the offense, which will obviously bold well for the New England Patriots team. As far as the team’s most promising building block, it is hard to disagree with that if he takes that leap he was expected to take in his second season.
As a rebuttal, it is fair to say the Patriots have other young talent that could fit that mold like Stevenson, explosive interior defensive lineman Christian Barmore and Josh Uche following his breakout season in 2022.
But, again, the Patriots don’t have many game changers on the roster. Maybe Mac Jones helps change that this upcoming season.