The New England Patriots are normally impossible to predict, but one thing we can say for sure is that they will have a new starting quarterback in 2021.
After parting ways with Cam Newton at the end of the regular season, they’ll have to think long and hard about how they want to attack the position — whether it be signing a free agent, trading for an experienced veteran, or drafting a top prospect with the No. 15 overall pick.
While most fans would endorse a trade, the Patriots drafting a quarterback has been gaining steam over the last few days in light of preparations for the Senior Bowl this weekend, where Alabama star Mac Jones has taken full advantage of the opportunity to bolster his draft stock.
Given that his size and intangibles seemingly align with one Tom Brady, Jones is the prototypical signal caller that would grab the Patriots’ attention. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he met with team scouts and had an insightful conversation with them.
"“We just had a good conversation,” Jones told reporters. “Talked and they got to know me really well. I really liked their (team) table. It’s kinda fun to see how different tables, they act a little different, but the Patriots were really cool and asked some really good questions.”"
The Patriots-Mac Jones buzz is heating up at the Senior Bowl.
We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves because a lot can happen between now and draft night, but Patriots fans might want to start picturing a reality in which Jones is under center for the team come training camp. That obviously isn’t a guarantee that he’ll end up being the guy, but the connection is pretty much undeniable at this stage of the offseason.
Everybody knows of Bill Belichick and Nick Saban’s relationship, and the Patriots head coach has a well-documented history of drafting players from Saban’s esteemed program, which has proven to be a breeding ground in terms of pumping out NFL-ready prospects on an annual basis.
There’s been growing trepidation among scouts about Jones and whether his numbers were the product of the spectacular talent surrounding him or his own ability. If his showing at practice this week leading up to Saturday’s game was any indication, however, the 22-year-old did everything in his power to debunk those concerns.
Fair warning: Jones tweaked his ankle on Thursday, so he might not participate in the game for precautionary reasons. However, that won’t deter the Patriots’ interest as they likely already have heaps of film on him at their disposal.