The draft stock of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones is tough to figure out. Some, like New England Patriots legend Charlie Weis, compare him to Tom Brady. Others offer far more measured takes on Jones.
Lately, it appears many talent evaluators are beginning to align with Weis as Jones has become one of the hottest names in the 2021 NFL Draft. Ian Logue of PatsFans.com touched on Jones’ climb up draft boards.
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Jones’ ascension up the chart over the last few weeks has been fairly surprising, given that barely a month ago there were mock drafts that had him going in late round one and even not at all in a few cases. Now, the latest feeling is that he may not be there by the time the Patriots pick at #15, or that he might not even make it out of the top 10. The latest whispers seem to indicate the 49ers moved up to the #3 spot to have their pick between both Jones and Justin Fields, with the club now reportedly leaning toward Jones.
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There are so many moving parts associated with the quarterback scene this offseason.
Which QB Lands Where?
We’ve seen the initial scramble of free-agent quarterbacks begin and end. The Patriots stuck with Cam Newton, while a few other names, like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Mitchell Trubisky, changed teams.
Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, and Matthew Stafford were traded.
For the most part, there was more stability than movement, but the San Francisco 49ers shook things up from a draft perspective by moving up to No. 3 on the board. They should have a chance to get just about any quarterback not named Trevor Lawrence in the draft. We don’t know what the New York Jets will do at No. 2, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see them select BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.
Meanwhile, the Patriots, who need to find a long-term answer at quarterback, sit at No. 15. That’s too far back to get any of the Top-5 guys at the position. Trading up is the only chance, but the highest they may be able to get is No. 5 in a deal with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have probably already had Lawrence’s jerseys printed. The Jets could trade out of No. 2, but they move on from Sam Darnold. The Niners didn’t move up to No. 3 to draft an offensive tackle, and the Atlanta Falcons could easily be looking for Matt Ryan’s successor.
The Bengals took Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick last season, so they don’t need a quarterback. The Patriots might be able to put together a package that stimulates them. Even then, New England could lose out on Lawrence, Fields, Wilson, and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
It all comes down to how each team rates the prospects.
Lance or Fields are Perfect for the Patriots in 2021
It would appear Newton is set to be the team’s starter in 2021. If that’s the case, having a rookie on the roster with a similar skillset would be a plus. Newton has been a great leader in the league, and his teammates have repeatedly shared these sentiments.
Having a young player like Fields or Lance on the roster to learn from Newton and take over for him after 2021 is potentially an ideal setup for the Patriots.
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