Who is Mac Jones? NFL Draft 2021 pick for New England Patriots - and comparisons to Tom Brady explained
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The New England Patriots have a new quarterback.
Alabama QB Mac Jones became a first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft when he was selected by the Patriots, coming in at No.15.
Jones had been tipped in many mock drafts to go earlier with the San Francisco 49ers said to be keen at No.3 in the round one order.
In fact, the top three picks were all quarterbacks.
So what is it about Jones that saw Patriots general manager Bill Belichick pick a quarterback in the first round of the draft for the first time…
Who is Mac Jones?
Florida-born Jones began playing American football from an early age and pursued his love of the game through high school and later at college level.
He accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Alabama in 2017 where he would go on to win two College Football Playoff National Championships.
In his first year, he was a reserve quarterback before forcing his way into the reckoning in the second half of the 2019 season after Tua Tagovailoa suffered an injury.
Jones became the starting quarterback in 2020 and went on to help Alabama to another national championship in a season which brought him individual accolades.
With a 13-0 winning record last season, he had a 77.4 percent pass completion rate and threw 41 touchdowns against four interceptions before making the draft.
Jones was picked by the Patriots to usher Belichick’s team into a new post-Tom Brady era.
Why did the Patriots go for Mac Jones?
Though Jones is a college championship winning graduate with a productive record he isn’t considered to be as flashy as other quarterbacks.
He was the fifth quarterback to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft behind the top three picks of Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and No.11 Justin Fields.
The Jacksonville Jaguars took Lawrence, the New York Jets picked Wilson and the 49ers opted for Lance, while the Chicago Bears selected Fields in the draft’s first round.
The Patriots, with a 15th placed first round pick, could have pulled off a major coup by landing Jones who is no stranger to general manager Bill Belichick.
Jones played under Nick Saban at Alabama, a long time associate of Belichick, where he was made team captain in the championship winning 2020 season.
Known as a pocket-passer, Jones’s on-field numbers show he is an accurate thrower of the ball and can make the right decisions at the right times under pressure.
Why is Mac Jones being compared to Tom Brady?
It is those qualities - accuracy and decision making - which draw comparisons to Brady but Jones has two trophy-laden decades to compete with.
Not that Belichick was putting any expectations on his shoulders.
"He’s a smart kid," said Belichick. "He’s been in a system that’s similar to ours. We’ve had a lot of good conversations with him. I think he’ll be able to process the offense.
"It’s obviously going to take a lot of time. We’ll see how it goes. … Cam’s [Newton] our quarterback. Whatever time Jarrett [Stidham] or Mac are ready to challenge and compete, we’ll see how that goes. Right now for Mac, he’s just got a lot of learning in front of him.”
In 2019, Jones compared his physique to that of Brady’s by posting a picture of the two of them side by side on Twitter. Jones will be hoping the comparisons don’t stop there.