Much like the Pro Bowl, NFL Network’s Top 100 list is more of a popularity contest than an actual representation of who the best players in football are. That said, making the list voted on by the players themselves still shows the respect a player commands from his peers.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has seemingly already reached such a status. The 23-year-old, who is headed into his sophomore campaign, was ranked 85th on this year’s edition of the list:
“The way he goes through the progressions, he doesn’t make many crucial errors and mistakes,” said New York Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios in the accompanying clip. “He’s going to be a player in this league for a long time.”
A first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2021, Jones beat out incumbent starting quarterback Cam Newton in training camp and never looked back. He ended up starting all 18 of the team’s games as a rookie and played some promising football along the way.
Clearly the top rookie quarterback in the NFL, Jones completed 67.3 percent of his pass attempts for 4,033 yards, 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Playing 96.2 percent of New England’s offensive snaps (1,124 of 1,169), he was unquestioned as the starter despite the occasional hiccup and expected ups and downs.
“I think he’s a hell of a player,” another ex-Patriot, Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Chandler Jones, said about the young passer. “He’s going to be good for this Patriots franchise for a long time.”
After the season, Jones appeared in his first ever Pro Bowl; he made the NFL’s all-star game as an alternate.
“Pro Bowl as a rookie that’s always pretty impressive,” Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said.