Patriots: Is Mac Jones really going to be the best QB in the 2021 draft class?

Mac Jones, New England Patriots. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Mac Jones, New England Patriots. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots‘ Mac Jones is currently the only rookie quarterback not fighting for his life in the bottom six of FanSided’s Week 6’s quarterback rankings.

He’s sitting pretty at No. 19, well above the second highest Trevor Lawrence at No. 27. Other rankings have him above all of his peers, too.

Through five weeks, Jones has been the best performing quarterback out of the 2021 draft, but is that sample size enough to deem him best QB for the rest of the season and beyond?

It just might be. Let’s dig into why.

When it comes to his fellow rookie QBs, Jones clearly has the best coaching staff behind him. Bill Belichick is light years ahead of Matt Nagy, who couldn’t even commit to starting Justin Fields until keeping his job depended on it. Lawrence is plagued by the many woes of Urban Meyer’s sad attempt at head coaching in the NFL, and there is no telling what that will mean for his development in the league. Robert Saleh and Kyle Shanahan aren’t hurting their rookie quarterbacks, but they just aren’t progressing them the way Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are guiding Jones. The Jets are the Jets, too. That’s all you need to know in regard to Wilson’s situation.

The coaching situation is especially difficult for Fields. The Bears are historically horrible at developing quarterbacks. They’ve had too many high draft picks become busts to count, with their latest failure being Mitchell Trubisky. Fields is just not in good company. When you compare that to Jones’ predecessor, it’s clear New England’s starter has the edge, especially with the collection of offensive weapons at his disposal.

Will Patriots’ Mac Jones continue his reign as the best QB out of the 2021 draft?

The Patriots also chose the second-most prepared QB to make the transition from college … despite getting the last selection to do so. Jones had the poise and consistency needed to move on from inevitable mistakes and continue to improve. Just look at the others.

Lance, who had made a handful of starts at a division 1-AA school, was always going to be a developmental project. Lawrence and Wilson were both put in situations where they had to be every answer for their terrible teams. When young QBs have little room for error, it no doubt affects their development. Lawrence and Wilson were surrounded by a ton of talent on both sides of the ball in college, which no doubt helped them succeed. Now? They’re getting little help around them.

Jones didn’t have that level of pressure on him. He just had to do his job and fall into rhythm with the Patriots. And he’s certainly managed that with the highest passing yards and best QBR of all rookie QBs. His touchdown to interception ratio isn’t anything special (1:1), but with the weapons and support around him, that’s just fine. He’s been the best because he’s been allowed to make mistakes without mounting pressure that any bumps in the road with his game will ultimately lead to his team losing.

Given the sad states of his fellow rookie QBs, it looks like Jones will continue to be the top dog for quite some time.