Mac Jones led the Alabama Crimson Tide to a national championship, and the New England Patriots are hoping he will guide them to the same success as they selected the quarterback with the No. 15 pick overall. Jones was as good as it gets in 2020 in a very quarterback-friendly system at Alabama with playmakers everywhere at the skill position, so we’ll see if he can translate that success to the professional level.
Jones put up video game numbers in his final season in Tuscaloosa last season. In 13 games, he completed 77.4% of his passes for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and four interceptions. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting as the award went to his wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
Jones is a true pocket passing quarterback as almost all of his playmaking ability comes from his arm with very minimal production coming on the ground. He displayed a very accurate arm in college, and that’s a trait that can translate very well to the NFL. His four interceptions all of last season show he does not make many risky throws and excels at limiting turnovers.
One major question is how well Jones can perform without the advantages he received at Alabama where he had tons of skill position talent and an offensive line that kept his jersey clean. This could be a problem especially early in his career as he tended to panic when under pressure in college. If he can be more confident with defenses going after him, that will be a big hurdle and a good sign for success with the Patriots.
Fantasy football impact
Jones drew comparisons to Tom Brady from some and he’ll likely be an understudy in his first year with the Patriots. The rookie out of Alabama will have to compete with Cam Newton during the 2021 season, and the Patriots aren’t close to having the talent necessary to maximize his potential. Jones’ accuracy is his trademark, but his lack of mobility and questionable decision-making in tight pockets could make things tough. It’s hard to see Jones being a factor in Year 1 with Nelson Agholor as his WR1.
The Patriots are rebuilding on offense and need to put quality skill players around Jones before he can become a quality fantasy option. New England did take a step in the right direction by bringing in tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. Having players who can create separation out wide is also important for a young quarterback who’ll have to throw into tighter windows than he’s used to. The Patriots’ deep offensive line and creative play calling could make Jones an above-average quarterback in time. Adding better weapons will be paramount to his success.