It always seems to workout as planned for the New England Patriots. The 2021 NFL Draft was no different. There were rumors and speculation leading up on whether or not New England would attempt to move up in the first round to land a quarterback. It turns out they did not have to make that decision.
With the way the first round played out, the Patriots were able to land Mac Jones at No. 15. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson were slated to go first and second overall for weeks.
The San Francisco 49ers opted for Trey Lance over Jones and the Chicago Bears traded up to take Justin Fields. This means that Jones fell right into the lap of the Patriots. This was a perfect match for both sides and it will be interesting to see how it works out and when Jones will become the starter.
The Patriots signed Cam Newton back to a one-year deal that could be worth up to $14 million because there are heavy incentives. If he does not reach those incentives, the contract will not be worth as much. This means the Patriots could decide to go with the rookie right out of camp in Week 1.
Bill Belichick is a head coach that knows what he wants and has a plan for everything. This certainly includes the quarterback position and Jones was the plan all along.
Jones had an interesting journey to the NFL and these three things are important to know about the new Patriots’ quarterback. Honorable mention: Jones does not go by his first name, which is Michael. Mac comes from his middle name, McCorkle.
3. Mac Jones Originally Committed to Kentucky
Jones made a name for himself at Alabama but this was almost not the case. He originally committed to Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats as a junior. This was Jones’ first SEC offer and he jumped at it. The commitment lasted a year before he decided to switch to the Crimson Tide.
Heading into his junior year at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Jones committed to Kentucky. Following that year, Jones began receiving offers from conferences all over the country including other SEC schools and the Big Ten. In April of 2016, Jones was offered by Alabama, one month before Tua Tagovailoa committed.
Saban decided to keep Jones’ offer on the table and he accepted. It is interesting to think what could have happened if Jones stayed at Kentucky once Tagovailoa committed to Alabama. This could have changed the course of his future.
We do not know how this would have impacted the Patriots rookie. Maybe he would have developed quicker with more playing time or maybe he would have been worse off at a lesser program. In the end, it is hard to argue with the turnout of being a top-15 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
2. Part of Legendary Recruiting Class
When Mac Jones made the switch to Alabama, he forever put his name in a legendary class. The 2017 class recruited by Saban was an absolute masterpiece and will go down as one of the best of all-time. There were a total of seven first-round picks and three Heisman finalists, including one winner, that came out of that class.
Jones and Tagovailoa headlined the class as the quarterbacks. They had plenty of wide receivers to throw the ball to with DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III, and Jerry Jeudy also coming from the 2017 class.
Najee Harris, along with offensive lineman Jedrick Willis and Alex Leatherwood, round out the notable recruits on the offensive side of the ball. Xavier McKinney, second-round pick of the New York Giants in 2020, headlined the defense. For what it’s worth, Jones has contributed to an all-time recruiting class that shows just how dominant Alabama is as a program.
The Crimson Tide have had many player succeed from this class and Jones is looking ot be the next one. He has certainly landed in the right spot if he wants to develop at the next level ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
1. Mac Jones Wanted to Land in New England
The Niners pulled off the ultimate smokescreen with the third-overall pick this year. Jones seemed to be a lock to San Francisco until the night of the 2021 NFL Draft. They decided to go with Lance and this meant Jones was free to fall to No. 15 and the Patriots. At the end of the day, this seemed like the perfect spot for him and it was where he wanted to be.
Saban and Belichick have a strong relationship. They have drawn comparisons with their demeanor and how they have built their teams. New England did their homework on Jones throughout the process, including attending his pro day. Jones also had a draw to New England. He felt comfortable with the coaching staff and has a relationship with Damien Harris.
It is no secret that the Patriots have had success throwing intermediate passes within their offense over the years. Jones is extremely accurate with short-range passes and can get on a roll. He is not a mobile quarterback but is the perfect fit for New England.
Jones admitted that he wanted to be with the Patriots once the selection was made. Obviously, players are happy to land with whichever team decides to take a chance on them but this was a fit for weeks leading up.