BOSTON – New England patriots have selected former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th choice in the NFL draft, their biggest move to date to bring in a player as a long-term replacement for Tom Brady.
It was believed that the Patriots would have to trade to get one of the top five quarterbacks in the draft class this year. Jones fell into their lap.
Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance were eliminated from the first three selections, while Justin Fields and Jones scored even more.
The Bears advanced from 20th to 11th place in the trade with the Giants to select Fields, with only Jones available. In New England, Phil Belichic became the first quarterback to be selected in the first round during his 21-year tenure.
Jones has been high on the list of patriots for some time, as evidenced by the pre-draft scouts they made on him. They sent scouts to the Senior Bowl and both Belize and attack coordinator Josh McDonnells attended Alabama Pro Day.
Jones, who played under Nick Saban, a longtime friend and former coach of Belize, won the Davey O’Brien Award in 2020 as the best quarterback in college football.
Jones, who has been praised for his ability to command Saban’s organization in his solo year as a full – time starter for the Crimson Tights, is coming to New England to take Alabama to a national title from one season, while completing an NCAA record of 77.4% at 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four passes.
He joins a patriotic team after finishing 7-9 in 2020 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Departure in free company to Tampa Bay.
Newton has signed again this season, but only returns on a one-year contract. Last season his backup, Jared Stidham, was beaten for the starting job and was involved in limited activities during his first two years in the league.
Jones, who won the O’Brien Award, is the 10th player in a row to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He is the third former Crimson Tight quarterback to be selected in the first round since 1967, following in the footsteps of Dua Takovilova (fifth in 2020) and Richard Todd (sixth in 1976).