Mac Jones is now the man in New England.
It’s official, the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft will lead the Patriots into the future as the franchise guy starting Week 1 against Miami. The Boston Globe initially reported the story.
The Patriots not only named Jones the starter but also released former MVP Cam Newton in what many believe is an effort to make the transition to league starter as smooth as possible for the former Alabama quarterback.
While many will focus on what this means for Newton’s career moving forward, there will be a similar curiosity centered around Jones and his ability to be “that guy” in New England for the next 10 to 15 seasons.
It’s obvious that Jones has impressed so far, but throwing in practice and preseason games can be way different than lining up against Pro Bowl cornerbacks like Miami’s Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on Sundays.
The Patriots are a solid team that has many playmakers returning on their defense after sitting out the 2020 season due to COVID. Jones won’t have to be in the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation for the Patriots to make the playoffs, but if he’s anything close to the way he’s looked so far, they might be able to challenge Buffalo for the division crown.
The AFC is a gauntlet with a ton of good teams, so it will be no small task if Jones can get this team to the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him start strong but struggle midway into the season. However, I believe the playoffs can be achievable for this squad if Jones proves to be an efficient game manager in his first year and doesn’t make too many mistakes.
I see Jones hovering around 20-25 passing touchdowns, 3,500 passing yards, and 10 interceptions. Those should be good enough to put the Patriots in a great position to fight for a wild card spot in the AFC.
It’s Mac Jones time in New England — let’s see what the young QB can do.