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Comparing Mac Jones to the other first-round rookie quarterbacks after Week 14

Related: Mac Jones reacts to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young winning the Heisman Trophy

Cleveland Browns 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 14 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 14 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 14

The five passers selected in the first round this year performed as follows in Week 14:

First-round rookie QBs: Week 14

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
Zach Wilson 66 42 19 45.2% 202 0 0 3 3 26.5% 4 33 0 59.8 -0.296
Justin Fields 62 33 18 54.5% 224 2 2 2 1 65.1% 9 74 0 70.8 -0.131
Trevor Lawrence 55 40 24 60.0% 221 0 4 1 4 36.4% 1 2 0 35.5 -0.412
Trey Lance -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Mac Jones -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

With Mac Jones on a bye and with Trey Lance once again playing zero snaps, three of the first-round rookie quarterbacks saw the field in Week 14. Neither of the three led his respective team to victory.

Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars (Pick No. 1): Not all of the Jaguars’ problems in Week 14 were Lawrence’s fault and he continues to find himself in one of the worst situations in the league. That said, the youngster certainly had a very bad game against the Tennessee Titans. Not only did his team lose 20-0, he also threw a career-high four interceptions — all of them in the second half. Just a brutal overall performance.

Zach Wilson, Jets (Pick No. 2): The following quote from Gang Green Nation’s John Butchko should tell you all you need to know about Wilson’s performance in Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints.

Right now Zach Wilson looks like he is in completely over his head. He is on the Paxton Lynch/Dwayne Haskins/Josh Rosen level of looking unplayable. The most basic elements of playing the position seem to be beyond him. He has debilitating inaccuracy on short passes, a lack of pocket presence, and major issues reading coverages. I understand the concept of letting a young player make mistakes and learn from them, but Wilson’s problems are so deep that I’m no longer certain playing him is in his best interest right now.

Wilson and the Jets were blown out 30-9 by the Saints, getting eliminated from playoff contention in the process.

Justin Fields, Bears (Pick No. 11): In a way, the Bears’ loss to the Green Bay Packers was a microcosm of Fields’ rookie season so far. On the one hand, he barely completed half his passes and added three more turnovers — two interceptions and a fumble — while being under near-constant pressure; on the other hand, he made some impressive plays with both his arm and his legs despite still struggling with the rib injury that kept him out the previous two games.

All in all, Sunday was a rough day for the three first-round rookie quarterbacks taking the field. Statistically speaking, Justin Fields was the best of the bunch but he too did not have his best day.

First-round rookie quarterbacks all season long

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

First-round rookie QBs: Weeks 1-14

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 820 466 271 58.2% 2,735 9 14 24 24 34.9% 47 247 2 68.9 -0.067
Mac Jones 812 384 270 70.3% 2,869 16 8 9 13 28.4% 24 86 0 97.0 0.158
Justin Fields 562 231 133 57.6% 1,585 6 10 8 5 43.1% 60 391 2 69.3 -0.134
Zach Wilson 519 285 160 56.1% 1,741 6 11 23 12 37.6% 13 62 2 65.3 -0.168
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 14 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 either first or second in most volume statistics, Lawrence has received plenty of action through his first 14 games as Jacksonville’s QB1. However, it is obvious that he is in a difficult situation given the Jaguars’ lack of talent and erratic coaching. This has impacted his performance as well: despite having some impressive moments, the Clemson product continues to struggle with consistency and is now tied for the league-lead in interceptions.

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 looked out of his element repeatedly; missing even basic throws and failing to showcase the out-of-structure abilities that made him a star at BYU. Wilson is playing alongside an inconsistent supporting cast, but that excuse can only go so far. The bottom line is this: he has a long way to go.

Trey Lance, 49ers (Pick No. 3): The number two behind ex-Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo, Lance did start the 49ers’ Week 5 loss in Arizona, 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. With Garoppolo playing some solid football and leading the team to a 7-6 record, however, it appears unlikely that Lance will take over the starting job anytime soon. The youngster appears to be on the redshirt plan.

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 eight games and has also missed some time due to a rib injury. His performance on the field can best be described as a mixed bag: the Ohio State product looks overmatched at times and struggles with turnovers, but he also showcases his high ceiling as a dual-threat QB on a regular basis.

Mac Jones, Patriots (Pick No. 15): Jones has started all 13 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 — even though his game in Buffalo was unique from that perspective. Still, he appears to be headed in the right direction while also being the current leader among the first-round rookie QBs in most statistical categories.

Even with the Patriots on a bye, Mac Jones continues to be hands down the best of the five first-round rookie quarterbacks this year. New England owns a 9-4 record and the top playoff seed in the AFC, with the young QB being a big reason for that. He has been playing some encouraging football before the bye and continues 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.