The New England Patriots have drafted their quarterback of the future. With the no. 15 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected Mac Jones out of Alabama.
The decision was mostly met with positivity from fans and media. Here’s a sample of the Twitter reaction. ESPN’s Adam Schefter offers info that demonstrates Bill Belichick’s connection to Alabama players.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport outlines the Iron-Bowl-themed QB competition that is now in play between Bama’s Jones and Auburn’s Cam Newton.
Former Patriots front office personnel member Scott Pioli congratulated Jones and applauded Belichick’s “patience.”
WEEI’s Ryan Hannable had the quintessential Jones quote after he was drafted.
CBS Sports’ Pete Blackburn playfully likens Jones’ gape to that of his “father,” Belichick.
Former kicker and current podcast host Pat McAfee marvels at Belichick’s ability to get his man without trading up.
Not everyone thinks highly of the Jones pick.
Critics Sound Off on Patriots’ Pick of Jones
FOX Sports’ Skip Bayless gave his take on what he described as a “mistake” pick. Bayless took shots at Jones’ release, arm strength and poise.
EA Sports’ Andre Weingarten was clearly underwhelmed by the Jones pick as well.
No one has a 100% approval rate, and Jones will have some doubters as well as supporters.
Who Starts in Week 1, Newton or Jones?
The big question at this point is who will be the Patriots’ Week 1 starter in 2021. Newton would appear to be the man earmarked for the QB1 spot, but there are a ton of fans who are already calling for Jones to be the starter.
We posted a graphic acknowledging the Jones pick, and one fan said: “Not happy that Cam will still start but very pleased with Mac Jones!!”
Another commenter responded to that post with: “if Mac shows he better then Cam during training camp then Mac will start.”
Jones was considered to be the most pro-ready quarterback in the NFL Draft, so theoretically, if there is a rookie–beyond the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence–who most experts see as a kid who can start in Week 1 it would be Jones.
That said, it would seem to be more of the Patriots’ style to lean on Newton in 2021. He’s had an entire year in the system, his teammates love him, and the coaches also seem to be fond of the 2015 NFL MVP as well.
That said, Newton didn’t have his strongest season in 2020. His struggles are the reason he was only brought back on a one-year deal, and also the fuel behind the media and fans’ desire to see the team draft, trade or sign another option at the position.
Jarrett Stidham is another quarterback under contract for the Patriots as well. He figured to be Newton’s backup, as he was most of 2020. With Jones now in the mix, there are some serious questions about his future with the team. The Patriots could carry three quarterbacks this season–as they did last year with Newton, Stidham and Brian Hoyer, but they also have practice-squader Jake Dolegala.
Expect some roster moves over the next month or so, but as of now, all the attention is on Jones.
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