No player is a more popular first-round mock draft selection for the New England Patriots this year than Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. Not only is he one of the better passers available, he also would fill a major need and give the team a long-term prospect at the most important position on the field.
Whether or not the Patriots agree remains to be seen, but yet another mock draft has them go after Jones — and, in fact, even trade up for him. ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay alternated picks in this scenario, with New England moving up to the seventh overall selection.
Projected trade: New England moves up for a QB
Kiper: We needed a trade for a quarterback — they happen every year — so I’m going to make one with myself since I’m the general manager of the odd-numbered teams. This deal sees the Patriots jump eight spots to get their guy, while the Lions add the Patriots’ second-round pick (No. 46), plus future selections, maybe even their first-rounder in next year’s draft. It’s a lot to give up, but Bill Belichick & Co. need a long-term solution at the game’s most important position.
7. New England Patriots (via mock trade with DET)
Kiper’s pick: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
I have Jones slightly ahead of Trey Lance, and I think he’s more ready to play as a rookie, particularly for a team that made several win-now moves this offseason. Plus, Josh McDaniels has already proved that he can game-plan for a pocket passer with tremendous accuracy.
Despite North Dakota State’s Trey Lance still being on the board, New England goes after Jones in this particular projection — giving up considerable draft capital to do that. If that is a realistic scenario will depend on how Bill Belichick and company view Jones relative to the rest of the board, and whether or not they believe making a trade to get him is the best decision from a value perspective.