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Comparing Mac Jones to the other first-round rookie quarterbacks after Week 7

Related: Mac Attack: Studying Mac Jones’ performance against the Jets

New York Jets Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Bill Belichick has done a lot of things in his storied career as a coach, but it took him until his 22nd offseason with the New England Patriots to finally select a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft. That quarterback was Alabama’s Mac Jones, who was picked 15th overall and went on to beat out incumbent Cam Newton over the course of training camp.

Now seven games into his professional career and tenure as the Patriots’ starter, let’s take a look at how he compares to the four men he will forever be linked to: the other quarterbacks selected in the first round this year.

First, a look at how Jones performed in Week 7 relative to Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars), Zach Wilson (New York Jets), Trey Lance (San Francisco 49ers) and Justin Fields (Chicago Bears). Then, a season-long look at the five youngsters.

First-round rookie quarterbacks in Week 7

In Week 7, the five passers selected in the first round this year performed as follows:

First-round rookie QBs: Week 7

Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Justin Fields 66 32 22 68.8 184 0 3 2 1 30.2% 8 38 0 44.3 -0.607
Mac Jones 64 36 24 66.7 307 2 0 0 2 20.5% 3 19 0 111.7 0.451
Zach Wilson 18 10 6 60.0 51 0 0 0 1 45.5% 0 0 0 73.3 0.328
Trevor Lawrence -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Trey Lance -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

With the Jaguars on a bye and Trey Lance dealing with a knee injury, only three of the five first-round quarterbacks saw action in Week 6. Among them, Mac Jones was the only one to lead his team to victory.

Zach Wilson, Jets (Pick No. 2): Playing the Patriots for a second time this season, Wilson did look better in that he did not throw an interception (he had four in Week 2 against New England). However, he was forced to exit the game in the second quarter after taking a hard hit on a deep incompletion: Wilson’s knee bent awkwardly while being tackled to the ground by Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon; he left the contest and was quickly ruled out.

Justin Fields, Bears (Pick No. 11): Fields did post his best completion percentage since taking over as the Bears’ starter in Week 3, but his game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was still a major disappointment. Not only did he lead his team to a mere three points, he also threw three interceptions, and lost two of the three fumbles he had on the day. The game was a disaster for the Ohio State product, as illustrated by his EPA of -0.607 — the second worst posted by a quarterback in a game this season.

Mac Jones, Patriots (Pick No. 15): Starting his seventh game as a Patriot, Jones had arguably the best outing of his young career. Not only did he completed two thirds of his passes, he also had the first 300-yard outing since entering the league. Most importantly, though, Jones led his team to a convincing 54-13 victory over the Jets. He did not play the entire game — his day was over in the fourth quarter with the team up 47-13 — but looked in full control whenever he was on the field.

It is not hard to see which of the three first-round rookie quarterbacks playing in Week 7 had the best day. It is Mac Jones.

First-round rookie quarterbacks all season long

Seven weeks into the season, here is how the five QBs drafted on Day 1 this year have performed:

First-round rookie QBs: Weeks 1-7

Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion % Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Mac Jones 447 247 174 70.4 1,779 9 6 7 9 30.7% 10 50 0 92.8 0.134
Trevor Lawrence 391 216 129 59.7 1,465 7 8 10 11 34.9% 25 123 2 75.5 -0.003
Justin Fields 338 131 75 57.3 816 2 6 6 3 38.2% 29 146 1 61.8 -0.256
Zach Wilson 327 181 104 57.5 1,168 4 9 15 7 41.5% 6 24 0 63.5 -0.168
Trey Lance 111 48 25 52.1 354 3 1 4 2 35.0% 27 133 1 88.4 -0.012

All five first-round quarterback have seen significant action so far this season; each one of them has started at least one game for his respective team over the first seven weeks. Lawrence, Wilson and Jones all served as Day 1 starters, with Fields officially taking the Bears’ job in Week 5. Only Lance is still playing second fiddle at the moment, although that might change sooner rather than later with the 49ers’ season going downhill fast.

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (Pick No. 1): Ranking second behind only Mac Jones with 391 snaps and 216 pass attempts, Lawrence has received plenty of action through his first six games as Jacksonville’s QB1. He has not always been up to the challenge but appears to have settled down over the last three games before his team’s bye.

Zach Wilson, Jets (Pick No. 2): The Jets’ franchise quarterback is off to a rough start, not just because he is expected to miss some time due to the PCL injury suffered in Week 7 against the Patriots. Throwing at least one interception in all but one of his games this season, Wilson has actively contributed to the team’s 1-5 start. He has had his moments, but they were few and far between.

Trey Lance, 49ers (Pick No. 3): The number two behind ex-Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo, Lance did start the 49ers’ Week 5 game, but it was a struggle. That said, the sample size — 65 snaps that day, 111 overall — is far too small to make any definitive statements about his outlook for the rest of the season yet. It will be interesting to see how the team opts to use him once he is back from his knee sprain.

Justin Fields, Bears (Pick No. 11): Originally the number two quarterback in Chicago, Fields has seized the opportunity that presented itself when starter Andy Dalton went down with a knee injury. Since then, he has started five games that can be described as “inconsistent” at best and “terrible” at worst.

Mac Jones, Patriots (Pick No. 15): Jones has started all seven of the Patriots’ games since beating out Cam Newton and has played the majority of his team’s offensive snaps so far. He showed the ups and downs that had to be expected from a rookie in New England’s notoriously challenging system, but has played some impressive football as of late and is now the leader in most statistical categories among first-round rookie QBs.

Seven weeks in, our analysis continues to read the same it has last week: it is hard not to name Mac Jones as the best of the five first-round rookie quarterbacks this year. While New England is sitting at just 3-4 at the moment, its young QB has played some encouraging football as of late and continues to look like a potential franchise quarterback.