Patriots Linked to Alabama Star in Pro Football Focus Mock Draft

Getty Mac Jones

Pro Football Focus is one of the most respected gridiron analysis outlets in the world. When they speak, it generally gets some attention.

In a recent mock, PFF has the New England Patriots grabbing one of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s many superstars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Mac Jones to the Patriots

According to Austin Gayle of PFF, who projects the Patriots to select No. 14, the team will take QB Mac Jones to begin the retooling of their offense.

Here is Gayle’s explanation:

The Cam Newton experiment has not panned out in New England. Through Week 16, he ranks just 26th in PFF passing grade (67.1). Jones is currently outperforming Tua in what is still a loaded ‘Bama offense and currently ranks second behind BYU’s Wilson in PFF grade (95.3) among all FBS quarterbacks.

Another Take

Gayle’s mock draft was published on December 29.

A more recent post on Twitter still has the Patriots taking Jones, but there are a few differences. In this iteration of a mock draft, though it only includes the Patriots’ first 2 picks, New England is selecting 12th.

However, this mock has the Patriots taking Florida’s stud tight end prospect Kyle Pitts with that selection and grabbing Jones with its second-round pick, the 44th overall.

If the Patriots come away with Pitts and Jones with their first 2 picks in the draft, they will be one of the biggest winners from the first 2 days of the event. They would still need to find wide receivers and linebackers to feel good about their haul, but you couldn’t ask for a better start considering their expected draft positions.

The Final Game Will Determine the Patriots’ Final Draft Spot

There is a possibility the Patriots could wind up drafting as high as No. 10.

New England is more likely to pick at No. 12 or 14, but if they lose to the New York Jets, things could get interesting. Based on the closeness of their first meeting, a Monday night clash in the Big Apple back in November (a game New England won on a last-second field goal) Gain Greens’ two-game win streak, and the Patriots’ current slide, a home loss for the Pats seems feasible. If it happens, there is a path to No. 10.

The Patriots are 14th heading into Sunday, but a loss to the Jets and wins from the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, and the Washington Football Team would put the Patriots at No. 10.

The Chargers have been playing well and probably won’t be tanking. They have solid building blocks with Justin Herbert, Kenneth Murray, Joey Bosa, and Derwin James (assuming he can come back healthy). They are likely to play to win in their final game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are resting Patrick Mahomes.

Dallas and Washington are still playing for the woeful NFC East. The Vikings (6-9) are bad, but they are playing the Detroit Lions (5-10)–who are even worse–so there is a possibility there.

The toughest spot if you’re hoping for the Patriots to emerge from Week 17 with a Top-10 pick is with the Broncos. They host the Las Vegas Raiders who have looked dreadful recently losing three straight, but they beat Denver 37-12 earlier this season.

We’ll see what happens on the pipe dream fron, but as long as the Patriots come away from their first 2 picks with solid options at WR/TE and a QB, no one should complain.

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