Leading up to the 2021 Draft, the New England Patriots were widely rumored as a destination for one of the top quarterback prospects.
Though most of the pre-draft buzz indicated the Patriots were a serious candidate to trade up several picks in order to snag Ohio State star Justin Fields, they ended up staying put and managed to nab Alabama standout Mac Jones at No. 15 overall.
It remains to be seen when Jones will make his first start — some analysts seem to think it’ll happen sooner rather than later — but we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes.
For now, however, fans are just excited to see what the 22-year-old QB looks like in a Patriots’ practice uniform.
After all, rookie mini camp is officially underway for NFL teams and all eyes will be on Jones to see how he performs.
Well, the first round of photos of Jones practicing with his new Pats teammates at camp were released on the Patriots’ team website, and they are guaranteed to excite fans.
Check out Mac Jones practicing with his Patriots teammates for the first time.
There unfortunately aren’t any videos of Jones throwing available at this time, though those can be expected to trickle out as the offseason wears on. For now, fans will have to settle for mini camp snapshots, which, if you ask us, is a pretty solid silver lining.
It’s hard to take anything genuine away from a handful of photos, but it speaks volumes that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was in close proximity of Jones in most of them. As we know, the Patriots’ system is as complex as any in the NFL, and it’s clear McDaniels is keeping close tabs on the rookie to coach him through any mistakes.
For a young quarterback who only started one season at Alabama, there are bound to be some growing pains for Jones. With that being said, however, the sheer dominance he displayed in Tuscaloosa this past campaign suggests he should make a fine transition to the NFL.
Despite playing in arguably the toughest conference (the SEC) in the country, Jones led the Crimson Tide to a national championship, finishing first in the nation in completion percentage (77.1%), passing yards (4,500), passer rating (203.1) and yards per attempt (11.2).
Life in the NFL won’t be nearly as easy, and next up on the offseason agenda for Jones is the second and third phases (this week and next) when he’ll run on-field drills with coaches and participate in OTAs and mandatory minicamp…which is also when he’ll practice with the veterans on the Patriots’ roster for the first time.