What will the New England Patriots do with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft?
That might be one of the biggest mysteries of the draft as we sit just over two months away. By the time the draft rolls around, the Patriots might have already addressed the starting quarterback position.
There might be a trade for a big name like the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson or a second-tier option like the Las Vegas Raiders or the San Francisco 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo. Perhaps we’ll see a free-agent signing of a guy like Jameis Winston or Mitchell Trubisky. There is also the chance Cam Newton could be back as the team’s starter.
It would be a surprise if the Patriots don’t draft a quarterback at all, but it wouldn’t be a complete shock if Bill Belichick elected not to use his first-round selection on a new signal-caller. If his former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis had any say in the situation, it seems clear who his favorite would be, and that’s Alabama’s, Mac Jones.
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Weis on Jones
We’ve seen multiple mock drafts with the Patriots projected to draft Jones at No. 15 and even a few scenarios that suggest they might even trade up to get him. While some talent evaluators aren’t sold on Jones’ athleticism or his ability to perform without elite athletes at every position the way he had it in Alabama, Weis has none of the above trepidation.
During a recent appearance on Sirius XM radio, Weis believes Jones has the “it” factor. He said:
“What are the two most important components of a star quarterback? They have the ‘it’ factor. And they’re accurate. That’s who he was.”
Weis addressed the narrative that suggests Jones’ success is a product of Alabama’s stock of horses more than the quarterback’s gifts.
You talk about being around good players. Yeah, he was around good players. But playing on a team with a bunch of stars, who is the leader of the offense? He also had to make all those throws. I think the kid is an excellent quarterback. He has less holes than just about anybody.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Jones isn’t the natural athlete that Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, but Weis suggests the Alabama star still finds a way to make plays.
If you’re looking for a guy that’s going to be running for 30 yards on a regular basis, that’s not your guy. But he can move in the pocket, and from the pocket, and run the ball when he absolutely needs to. When you talk about Trevor Lawrence, what makes him so special is that he can do everything Mac Jones can and he’s athletic. [Justin] Fields, really good player. Zach Wilson, really good player. The kid from North Dakota State [Trey Lance], really good player. But this guy, [Jones], he’s the one making all the plays. All he does is win and throw completions.
Weis even as far as to compare Jones to future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees.
He [Brees] went in the second round because everyone said, ‘He doesn’t take any snaps under center and his arm is not strong enough.’ All he did was play great at Purdue, and complete almost every pass. How has that worked out?
Newton, Jones and Stidham or Dolegala?
Comparing Jones to Brees is high praise, but it wouldn’t be a reach if the Patriots took him at No. 15. Another team drafting ahead of the Patriots, or one who is willing to leapfrog them in the draft order, might be keen on trading up.
Even if the Patriots do draft Jones, it would seemingly be wise to sign a veteran quarterback who is in a position to start in Week 1 of the 2021 season rather than dumping all of the eggs into a rookie’s basket.
How does everyone feel about a quarterback room that consists of Newton, Jones and Jarrett Stidham, or Jake Dolegala? It might not light your fire today, but don’t count that possibility out.
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