Patriots: Mac Jones should hope for NE landing spot instead of 49ers

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 11: Mac Jones #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

After spending most of this year’s cycle high up on the New England Patriots’ draft board, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones might not be around when the team selects at No. 15.

The latest buzz for the last week is strongly hinting at the fact that the San Francisco 49ers intend on taking him with the No. 3 selection, whether you believe that to be wise or not.

While trading three first-round picks to move up and draft a quarterback, likely because Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t getting the job done, only to draft someone with a very similar style of play might be the most befuddling move we’ll see all offseason, Jones’ draft stock has risen amid rumors of San Francisco preferring him over Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

The latest reports from NFL insider Benjamin Allbright confirmed that Bill Belichick, a well-documented friend of Nick Saban, hasn’t totally given up on the dream of taking Mac if he ends up sliding a bit in this draft.

Allbright reported that the Patriots and Carolina Panthers, at least before the latter acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, had an interest in Jones, who led Alabama to a national championship with some gaudy numbers.

If Jones’ main goal is to land in a scenario that will turn him into a consistent winner, New England is the perfect spot for him.

Mac Jones could thrive with the New England Patriots.

Shanahan’s offense was clearly limited by the immobile Garoppolo last season, and someone that could use his legs like Fields might be a better fit for that scheme. In New England, Jones would not only get a better offense to accentuate his talents, as their Brady-era offenses thrived on quick decision making, but he might have better personnel around him.

San Francisco still needs help at wide receiver, and running back Raheem Mostert’s age and injury troubles are concerning. New England, meanwhile, partnered their young running back room with Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne (swiped from the Niners!) in order to beef up their passing game, too.

Cam Newton is the starter, but he could be the bridge towards eventually giving Jones the QB1 job. Belichick clearly has a thing for Newton, and he would be more than happy to have Jones ride the pine, work on his issues between the ears and out of structure, and eventually take Newton’s job.

The burden of heightened expectations and an offense that may ask him to use his legs could be brutal for Jones, especially starting out. In New England, Jones can sit for a year behind Newton before taking over an offense full of quality new additions. His accuracy down the field will be welcomed in New England, and he won’t be thrown into the fire like he would be with the 49ers.