Is Mac Jones the Patriots’ Franchise Quarterback of the Future?

Mac Jones is a man of many names. You may commonly hear him referred to as The Joker, Mac ‘N’ Cheese, or even Macksonville (given to by teammate Jonnu Smith) in addition to several other fun nicknames. Jones, the fifteenth overall draft selection by the New England Patriots this past spring is no stranger to success. The former 3-star quarterback out of The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL, had quite an impressive playing career for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide. The University of Alabama product who shared the same QB room as NFL starters Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, completed 77.4% of his passes while throwing for 4,500 yards at a 41 to 4 touchdown/interception ratio during his last college season. These statistics were enough to earn Jones several top college football honors including the Davey O’Brian, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, and Manning awards while placing third in Heisman voting behind number one pick Trevor Lawrence and winning teammate Devonta Smith. Most notably, Mac led The Tide to the 2021 BCS National Championship while defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in an impressive fashion, 52-24.

In his short time with New England, the 6’3" and 217 lb quarterback has showcased the reliability, precision, and decision-making that NFL teams look for in their franchise quarterbacks. Through four weeks Jones has completed 70% of his passes for 1,012 yards while throwing 4 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. This isn’t too shabby considering the 23 year old quarterback took over a 6-10 franchise with many question marks surrounding the quarterback position. The fans have been anxious over recent years to see who was going to eventually take over for 6-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.

Prior to selecting Jones, New England has spent four draft picks on quarterbacks between the 2014 and 2020 seasons. Most noteworthy, quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (second round) and Jarrett Stidham (fourth round) have been favorites to eventually take over the job. Jimmy was eventually traded to San Francisco in 2017 for a second round pick, but that’s a whole different story. Jarrett is currently still on the team, but on the IR due to recent surgery. In addition to their draft selections, the Patriots have signed several free agent quarterbacks including longtime back-up Brian Hoyer and 2020 starter Cam Newton to solve their future quarterback concerns. Cam showed early promise and a strong start to the 2020 season, but often struggled throughout the season leaving the multi-billion dollar franchise no choice but to use their first round draft selection on a quarterback.

Looking towards the future, it’s Mac’s job to lose. The young quarterback impressed Bill Belichick enough to completely cut ties with the former NFL MVP. The NFL’s most respected coach has handed over the reins of New England’s offense to the Saban-to-Belichick product. If Belichick is a believer, then fans should be too. I get it, nothing is more frustrating than blowing $150 dollars on a new NFL jersey just to have your quarterback cut or traded half way through their rookie deal, but fans should believe in "Mac Attack".

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