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Comparing Mac Jones to the other first-round rookie quarterbacks after Week 12

Related: Mac Attack: What went right and what went wrong for Mac Jones against the Titans

Tennessee Titans v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/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 12 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 12 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 12

The five passers selected in the first round this year performed as follows in Week 12:

First-round rookie QBs: Week 12

Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion rate Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion rate Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Trevor Lawrence 73 42 23 54.8% 228 1 1 1 3 27.3% 5 39 0 68.4 0.009
Zach Wilson 67 24 14 58.3% 145 0 1 0 1 32.1% 1 4 1 58.5 -0.209
Mac Jones 59 32 23 71.9% 310 2 0 0 0 25.7% 2 11 0 123.2 0.381
Trey Lance -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Justin Fields -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

With Justin Fields inactive due to injury and with Trey Lance once again not seeing the field, three of the first-round rookie quarterbacks saw the field in Week 12. Out of the three, Mac Jones and Zach Wilson were able to lead their respective teams to victory.

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (Pick No. 1): His performance against the Atlanta Falcons was, in a way, par the course for Lawrence this season. Completing less than 60 percent of his throws again and suffering another turnover — his 14th of the season — the first overall pick continues to experience his share of rookie miscues. He did have some encouraging moments as well, but ultimately could not string enough positive plays together to lead the Jaguars to a victory.

Zach Wilson, Jets (Pick No. 2): In his first game back after a four-game absence, Zach Wilson showed some progress by settling for the shorter completion over the big-play attempt on multiple occasions. That said, he still plays a pretty inconsistent game overall — especially as far as his ball placement is concerned: he continues to be all over the place and struggles to execute even basic NFL throws. The Jets beat the Houston Texans despite their young quarterback and not necessarily because of him.

Mac Jones, Patriots (Pick No. 15): The Patriots’ Week 12 game against the Tennessee Titans was business as usual for Mac Jones. He made some good decisions with the football, took what the defense gave him, and executed very well in the structure of the offense. While not perfect by any means, he brought New England in scoring position multiple times even with the running game doing little to support him early on. All in all, another very solid performance.

Another week, another no-contest as far as the comparison between first-round rookie quarterbacks is concerned. Mac Jones continues to be far and away the most effective of the bunch, even though he was going up against a far more talented defense than either Trevor Lawrence or Zach Wilson.

First-round rookie quarterbacks all season long

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

First-round rookie QBs: Weeks 1-12

Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion rate Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Player Snaps Attempts Completions Completion rate Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Drops Throwaways Pressure rate Carries Rushing yards Rushing touchdowns Rating EPA/Play
Mac Jones 761 381 268 70.3% 2,850 16 8 9 13 28.1% 21 81 0 97.1 0.162
Trevor Lawrence 707 398 231 58.0% 2,369 9 10 22 19 35.1% 42 235 2 72.3 -0.023
Justin Fields 500 198 115 58.1% 1,361 4 8 6 4 35.9% 51 317 2 69.0 -0.125
Zach Wilson 394 205 118 57.6% 1,313 4 10 15 8 40.3% 7 28 1 62.9 -0.173
Trey Lance 116 48 25 52.1% 354 3 1 4 2 35.0% 28 140 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 ten 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.

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (Pick No. 1): Ranking second behind only Mac Jones in most volume statistics, Lawrence has received plenty of action through his first 12 games as Jacksonville’s QB1. He has not always been up to the challenge, and continues to struggle with consistency, but he appears to have settled down a bit after what was a rather disappointing start to his professional career.

Zach Wilson, Jets (Pick No. 2): The Jets’ franchise quarterback has had a rough rookie season so far. Not only did he miss four games due to a PCL injury suffered in Week 7 against the Patriots, he also has been throwing at least one interception in all but one of his games this season. Wilson’s play alongside a highly inconsistent supporting cast has actively contributed to the team’s issues this year. 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, 116 overall — is far too small to make any definitive statements about his outlook for the rest of the season yet. That said, with Garoppolo having played some solid football for the team recently, it appears unlikely that Lance will take the starting job anytime soon.

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 seven games that can be described as a mixed bag: the Ohio State product looked overmatched at times, but did showcase his high ceiling as a dual-threat QB on occasion. However, a rib injury forced him to miss the Bears’ Week 12 contest — a situation worth monitoring moving forward.

Mac Jones, Patriots (Pick No. 15): Jones has started all 12 of the Patriots’ games this season and he is undisputed as New England’s QB1. The Alabama product showed the ups and downs that had to be expected from a rookie in New England’s notoriously challenging system early on, but has played some impressive football as of late. He certainly appears to be headed in the right direction while also being the current leader among the first-round rookie QBs in most statistical categories.

Our analysis continues to read the same it has the last few weeks: Mac Jones has hands down been the best of the five first-round rookie quarterbacks this year. New England is now at 8-4 and in the middle of the fight for playoff positioning, with its young QB being a big reason for that. He has been playing some encouraging football as of late and continuing to show the growth that one would like to see from a rookie, especially at the position. Jones continues to look like a potential franchise quarterback and the front-runner to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.