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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Patriots land quarterback of the future in Alabama’s Mac Jones

Mac+Jones.

Mac Jones.

Last Thursday, the New England Patriots landed quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Jones is an Alabama product who passed for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns, all while tallying a completion percentage over 70 percent last year for the Crimson Tide. While Jones had a stellar campaign at Alabama last season, he surely has his work cut out for him in Foxboro.

Jones is not only the first quarterback selected in the first round during Belichick’s reign in Foxboro, but he is also the first quarterback drafted by the Patriots in the post Tom Brady era. Coach Belichick endorsed the organization’s pick of Jones following the draft. “Mac was available there at our pick. He’s a guy we spent a lot of time with and felt that that was the best pick at the time for us. We look forward to working with him. You know, he’s a smart kid, he’s been in a system similar to ours.”

The new Patriots quarterback was seemingly elated with how things shook out in the draft. “I’m just so blessed to be part of a great organization,” Jones said. “It’s not really where you get picked, it’s what you do with the opportunity. That’s what Coach Saban told me, so I’m just going to follow that.” Jones was widely speculated to be the third overall selection by the San Francisco 49ers, but when San Francisco selected Trey Lance, Jones fell to the number fifteen spot where he was scooped up by New England. Jones would add, “at the end of the day, you want to just get the right fit, and I feel like secretly, I really wanted to go to the Patriots all along.”

Making the Jones selection even more interesting is the fact that a quarterback controversy is seemingly imminent in New England. While Newton was the clear-cut starter heading into draft night, the selection of Jones has cast doubt on whether Newton will start the upcoming season. Head Coach Bill Belichick made clear that Cam is the starting quarterback, at least for the time being. “Cam’s our quarterback. At whatever time Jarret [Stidham] or Mac are ready to challenge and compete, then you know, we’ll see how that goes,” Belichick said. “Right now, for Mac, he just has a lot of learning in front of him.”

While much of Patriots nation would like to see Jones suit up right away, I caution that it may be in the best interest of the team, fans, and Mac Jones if the Patriots take things slow at first with the new quarterback last first. As Newton was actually afforded a full offseason this year, and the Patriots have upgraded weapons at the tight-end position in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, his performance this upcoming season could surprise a number of critics. Conversely, If Newton has trouble nearing the halfway point of the season, then the possibility for Jones to start should begin to creep in.

Though we may not know when or if, Jones will start for the Patriots this season, it is clear that he is the long-term solution as successor to Tom Brady here in New England. Jones has a similar play style to Brady in that he is not wildly fast, but he is shifty in the pocket, often making defenders miss. He is also an extremely accurate thrower of the ball and was a good game manger during his time in Alabama.

One can assume that Jones is under a tremendous amount of pressure, being the heir-apparent to the greatest football player of all time. As humble and down to earth as Jones may be, the shadow of number 12 looms heavy over One Patriot Place.

In the past, Jones has been vocal about his admiration and adoration of Brady. In January of 2019, Jones posted a picture of himself shirtless, where he has very little definition, and looks rather gawky and goofy. Next to this image, in the same tweet, is the famous photograph of Tom Brady in boxer shirts at the draft combine in 2000. In the picture Brady is looking just goofy and awkward as Jones in his.
In his post draft presser, Jones was asked whether Tom Brady sparked his fandom in the Patriots. Jones, refusing to take the bait, smartly responded, “I just love how he maneuvers through the pocket and stuff. For me, it’s just being myself and being my own player. Obviously, he did great things for New England and I just look forward to going in there and working.”