Mac Jones Patriots wait draft former Alabama QB at No 15
Round 1: Patriots take Alabama QB Mac Jones with Pick 15 in NFL … Thu, 29 Apr 2021 07:00:00 -0700-BOSTON (AP) — The New England Patriots have selected former Alabama quarterback Mac…
BOSTON (AP) — Mac Jones has only been to New England once, a trip to Boston about 10 years ago to catch a cruise.
His lingering memory? Almost losing a foot when his sandal got stuck in an escalator.
Soon he'll back, called upon to possibly be the Patriots' quarterback of the future in their biggest move to date to find their long-term replacement for Tom Brady.
The Patriots selected the former Alabama standout with the No. 15 pick of Thursday's NFL draft, making him the first quarterback selected in the first round during Bill Belichick’s 21-year tenure in New England.
“For me it's just being myself and being my own player,” Jones said. “Obviously, (Brady) did great things for New England. I'm just looking forward to going in there and working.”
The Patriots will enter Friday with nine remaining picks, including one each in the second and third rounds.
A fan of Brady's growing up, Jones said he saw plenty of Brady when he started watching football.
“I’ve watched all the Super Bowls regardless of the team,” Jones said. “Obviously, Tom and the New England Patriots were in a lot of them.”
It was believed the Patriots would have to trade up to get one of the consensus top five quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. It turned out Jones fell right into their lap.
After Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance came off the board in the first three picks, top-rated prospects Justin Fields and Jones were still up for grabs.
The Bears moved up from No. 20 to No. 11 in a trade with the Giants to select Fields, leaving only Jones available.
Jones has been high on the Patriots’ list for some time, as evidenced by the pre-draft scouting they did on him. They sent scouts to the Senior Bowl and both Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels attended Alabama’s pro day. The conversations continued through several video calls as well, Jones said.
Jones played under Belichick’s longtime friend and former coaching colleague Nick Saban and earned the Davey O’Brien Award in 2020 as the top quarterback in college football. He is the third former Crimson Tide quarterback to be chosen in the first round since 1967, following Tua Tagovailoa (taken fifth in 2020) and Richard Todd (sixth in in 1976).
Lauded for his accuracy and ability to command Saban’s system in his lone year as the Crimson Tide’s full-time starter, Jones arrives in New England coming off a season that saw him lead Alabama to a national title while completing an NCAA-record 77.4% of his passes for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
He joins a Patriots team that is in transition after finishing 7-9 in 2020 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. One of the biggest reasons was Cam Newton’s struggles to get his footing in the offense after taking over for Brady following his departure in free agency to Tampa Bay.
Newton was re-signed this offseason but returns on only a one-year deal. His backup last season, Jarrett Stidham, was beaten out for the starting job and has underwhelmed in limited action during his first two years in the league.
Jones said he isn't focused on trying to be the starter at this point. For now he is enjoying the irony of a quarterback room that features two Auburn alums in Newton and Stidham and now one from rival Alabama. Learning is his top priority.
“Cam earned the respect of the team already. And my job is to support him and Jarrett and help them become better players, if I can,” Jones said. “I've never play in the NFL, but I’ve seen good football. And I know that I can help them with anything they need,”
The Patriots head into Day 2 holding the 14th pick (46th overall) in Round 2 and the 33rd pick in the third round — the highest compensatory spot at 96th overall. New England was awarded the latter selection in large part for having Brady land in Tampa Bay — and winning the Super Bowl last season.
While they brought in a nice haul during the first wave of free agency, they still have some needs to fill at cornerback, linebacker, receiver and offensive line.
Patriots wait, draft former Alabama QB Mac Jones at No. 15 Thu, 29 Apr 2021 07:00:00 -0700-What we know about Mac Jones: This marked the first time the Patriots drafted a QB in the first round since Drew Bledsoe with the No. 1 pick in 1993.
For the first time in nearly three decades, the Patriots drafted a quarterback in the first round.
Welcome to the Mac Jones era, New England.
On Thursday night, the Pats selected Jones with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Alabama product will come to Foxboro where he’ll immediately compete with Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham for the Patriots’ starting quarterback job.
“This is what I wanted all along,” Jones said on the NFL Network. “I can't wait to play for the greatest franchise in NFL history.”
This marked the first time the Patriots drafted a quarterback in the first round in 28 years when the team selected Drew Bledsoe with the No. 1 pick in 1993. The franchise was tied for the third longest streak in the NFL with Seattle, who drafted Rick Mirer in 1993.
The Patriots were all over Jones in the pre-draft process. Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels attended his Alabama Pro Day. The Pats also interviewed him at the Senior Bowl. At the Pro Day, Jones ran a play from the Navy playbook and said afterward he wanted to get Belichick’s attention.
“Obviously, I know Belichick loves Navy, so I showed him that. It's all fun and games out here,” Jones said.
What are Mac Jones' stats
Jones threw for 4,500 yards with 41 touchdowns and four interceptions last season. The 6-foot-3, 217 pound quarterback was an All-American and a Heisman finalist. He’s known for his accuracy and football smarts. Jones is also an underrated athlete, surpassing Patriots averages marks in the 40 (4.68), vertical (32), broad jump (116) and 3-cone drill (7.04) when compared to other quarterbacks drafted by Belichick.
The 2021 draft unfolded at the top as many thought it would with Jacksonville drafting Trevor Lawrence and New York selecting Zach Wilson. The San Francisco 49ers made a minor surprise by drafting quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3. From there, picks 4-through-10 didn’t select a quarterback. The biggest surprise was seeing Carolina (who traded for Sam Darnold) and Denver (who traded for Teddy Bridgewater) pass on Jones and Justin Fields.
That’s when the Chicago Bears traded up from No. 20 with the New York Giants for No. 11 to draft Fields. Chicago traded No. 20, a 2022 first rounder, a fifth this year and a fourth rounder next year to aggressively get their quarterback.
The Patriots stayed pat and still ended up with one of the best quarterbacks in this draft class.
After Tom Brady signed with Tampa in 2020, the Patriots struggled with Newton at the helm. The team finished 7-9 as Newton threw for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also added a franchise record 12 rushing touchdowns. Jarrett Stidham appeared in five games, throwing 256 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
After re-signing Newton to a one-year deal this offseason, it was clear that the quarterback position was a top need for the Patriots heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Now, the Patriots have a rookie quarterback on a five-year contract. That gives the team a couple options heading into this season. They could start Newton and develop Jones. If Jones wins the starting job, Newton could stay as a backup/mentor. The Pats could also release Newton.
If anything, OTAs, minicamp and training camp will interesting.
Bears trade up for QB Justin Fields
The Patriots won't be trading up for Justin Fields after all.
Despite all the speculation and rumors, Fields was drafted by the Chicago Bears at No. 11.
The 2021 draft unfold at the top as many thought it would with Jacksonville drafting Trevor Lawrence and New York selecting Zach Wilson. The San Francisco 49ers made a minor surprise by drafting quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3. From there, picks 4-through-10 didn’t select a quarterback. The biggest surprise was seeing Carolina (who traded for Sam Darnold) and Denver (who traded for Teddy Bridgewater) pass on Mac Jones and Justin Fields.
That’s when the Bears traded up from No. 20 with the New York Giants for No. 11 to draft Fields. Chicago traded No. 20, a 2022 first rounder, a fifth this year and a fourth rounder next year to aggressively get their quarterback.
49ers draft Trey Lance
After Jacksonville drafted Trevor Lawrence and New York selected Zach Wilson, the San Francisco 49ers drafted quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3. The odds on favorite for this pick was Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
This makes things interesting for the Patriots. There are two top quarterbacks available now with Jones and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. If the Pats feel either could be a franchise player, there’s a path for them to get either rookie. This could get interesting.
Report: Patriots aren't expected to trade for QB Jimmy Garoppolo
It doesn’t sound like Jimmy Garoppolo will be headed back to the Patriots any time soon.
Although Garoppolo has been rumored to have been a Patriots target, it appears that the money in his current contract is a sticking point. According to the NFL Network, the “Patriots aren’t expected to trade” for their former draft pick “tonight or anytime soon.” The report states that it’s “a big if” when it comes to San Francisco and the Patriots agreeing to terms due to “a complex contract negotiation.”
The Patriots currently have just over $15.5 million in cap space. Garoppolo will have a $24.1 million base salary this season and a $24.2 base salary in 2022.
The 49ers are going to select a quarterback when they pick at No. 3 tonight. The team has said publicly that they would like to keep Garoppolo for at least one season with their rookie quarterback. That hasn’t stopped teams inquiring about the 30-year-old quarterback.
If the Patriots don’t draft a quarterback during the 2021 NFL Draft, they could also talk to the 49ers about Garoppolo later this offseason or next year.
Report: Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay
We’re hours away from the 2021 NFL Draft and the rumors are swirling.
This past week, it was reported that the San Francisco 49ers could trade Jimmy Garoppolo. However, it turns out he might not be the only veteran quarterback on the trade block. According to ESPN, All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers has told people within the Packers organization that he longer wants to be in Green Bay.
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The report states that several Packers staffers – team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur – have all flown out to California to try to mend fences with Rodgers. Since that initial report, ProFootballTalk reported that Rodgers could be traded this upcoming weekend. Jay Glazer of FOX NFL Sunday tweeted that Rogers issue with the Packers is more than his contract and the quarterback is “strongly convicted he doesn’t want to go back to the Packers.”
Following the reports, Packers GM, Gutekunst, issued a statement:
“As we've stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond. Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team.”
The Patriots have checked in with multiple teams this offseason about acquiring a veteran quarterback. They’re also in the market for a rookie quarterback. If Rodgers were available, it would be a safe bet that the Patriots would call Green Bay to inquire about Rodgers, a future Hall-of-Famer.
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Welcome to the 2021 NFL Draft
Tonight marks the beginning of a three-day, seven-round event in which we’ll see over 300 prospects drafted by 32 NFL teams. Thursday night’s first-round starts at 8 p.m. The Patriots are scheduled to draft at No. 15 overall. This marks the earliest selection for the Pats since 2008 when they drafted Jerod Mayo at No. 8. Of course, the Patriots could trade up or down in the draft.
At this point, the Patriots have been connected with all the top quarterbacks in the draft. If they select one in the first round, it’ll likely come down to Justin Fields, Mac Jones or Trey Lance. There’s also the possibility of the Patriots trying to acquire veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with the 49ers expected to draft a quarterback at No. 3.
A lot is going to happen with the Patriots and we’ll keep you updated through live blogs over the next three days. We will update this post as things unfolds on Day 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.
What time is the NFL Draft
The NFL Draft will be broadcast on NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes
Round 1: 8 p.m. Thursday, April 29
Rounds 2 and 3: 7 p.m. Friday, April 30
Rounds 3 to end: Noon Saturday, May 1
– April 29, 2021
Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers