Patriots Go Quarterback in Round 1; Select Mac Jones 15th Overall

The Patriots stuck at pick number 15 and took their quarterback of the future.

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The New England Patriots selected quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night, hoping perhaps that they have found the heir apparent to Tom Brady, one year after the GOAT’s departure from New England.

There had been rumors this week that New England could move up the board to select Justin Fields from Ohio State, but they ultimately stayed the course and waited for Jones to fall to them at 15.

Here’s what CLNS Patriots Insider Evan Lazar wrote about Jones on his pre-draft big board.

Although Jones is a solid prospect, I’m still not convinced he’s worth it for the 49ers at three. The Alabama product has machine-like consistency from the pocket with excellent accuracy, timing and does all the little things well that it takes to thrive as a pocket passer (pocket management/movement, pre-snap reads, protections, etc.). The story also goes that Jones’s grasp of Alabama’s playbook is so advanced that he’s teaching the offense to new OC Bill O’Brien this offseason. If the Niners don’t take Jones, there are a million reasons why his style as a thrower would make him a perfect long-term option for New England. However, as good as his 2020 season was, it’s hard to imagine that Jones will get exponentially better at the pro level with his lacking physical tools. We’d be assuming he could master his skill set at the NFL level in the same vein that Brady, Manning, and Brees did, which is a lofty expectation. Nevertheless, it’s hard to ignore the fit for the Patriots and the Belichick-Saban connection. If Jones doesn’t go to San Francisco, the Pats could position themselves to take him in the first round.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels attended Jones’ second pro day in Alabama last month and clearly came away impressed with what they saw. Of course Alabama head coach Nick Saban is also a personal friend and close confidant of Belichick’s.

The new Patriots quarterback spoke with the media after being selected. After months of being projected as the number three pick in this draft, Jones told reporters that he, “secretly wanted to go to the Patriots all along.”

The Patriots quarterback room now consists of Mac Jones, Cam Newton, and Jarrett Stidham.

“I’m joining a really great quarterback room with Cam Newton who has played in the NFL for a really long time and earned the respect of his teammates,” Jones said.

Jones has been considered a system-fit by many, and successful if he fell to the right place. When asked about the fit, he said that, “I’ve watched a ton of their stuff. I love what Josh McDaniels does.”

“New England is a great place.” Jones said. “Watching them the past few years, they do everything right. And it’s all about winning.”

Hopefully the winning continues with Jones at the helm. The Patriots next select with the 46th pick of the second round.