Patriots: Mac Jones shows off new number in promising preseason debut

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 12: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 12: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Much to the surprise of fans, the New England Patriots opted against trading up for one of the other top quarterback prospects and stayed put to net Mac Jones at No. 15 overall.

Since then, the Alabama product, though he’s had some rookie moments here and there, has settled in seamlessly at training camp.

While it’s unclear whether he’ll end up beating out Cam Newton for the starting job, Jones did very little to hurt his standing on Thursday night in his preseason debut.

Given the No. 10 jersey (the number he wore at Alabama) just hours before kickoff against Washington, many fans wondered if Jones would rise to the occasion.

Would the jersey prove to be too heavy for the 22-year-old? Spoiler alert: it wasn’t, as Jones showed off his new number in what can only be described as an encouraging debut.

For his first completion, Jones moved the chains on third down.

Mac Jones impressed in his preseason debut for the Patriots.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

If you can believe it, the highlight of the night for the rookie QB came on an incompletion. Just minutes into the second quarter, Jones dropped an absolute peach of a deep ball that should’ve been hauled in for a touchdown. Instead, the pigskin fell harmlessly to the turf.

How’s that for pocket awareness! Fully aware pressure was coming to his right, Jones stepped up on the left and fired it right into Kristian Wilkerson’s breadbasket. It was tight coverage, but Jones put it where only his WR could catch it.  Wilkerson simply has to come up with the catch there.

While Jones was surely emotional coming into the game, he didn’t show it on the field. He’s made evident strides with his footwork and looked refreshingly composed in the pocket.

He didn’t even hesitate to fit throws into tight windows, as evidenced by this audacious completion to Wilkerson to pick up a first down.

Only players with confidence attempt that pass in their first preseason game, folks!

Jones eventually gave way to Brian Hoyer after he started taking some hits, but all in all it was a positive night for the first-round pick. For the game, Jones finished 13-of-19 for 87 yards and led the Patriots to a pair of field goal drives on two of his five series.

Fans in New England have been counting down the days until Jones’ preseason debut since the moment commissioner Roger Goodell called his name on draft night. That sums up how much pressure Jones was under Thursday night, and he stepped up to the occasion.