The New England Patriots might not be blowing the doors off of their rivals with a high-octane offense, but they have to be very impressed with the play of Mac Jones.
Throwing five touchdowns and five interceptions isn’t tremendous, but he has completed 71% of his passes. That clearly stands out.
New England is 2-3 this season, though they are a Damien Harris fumble and Nick Folk missed field goal away from potentially being 4-1 and firmly in the postseason picture.
Jones has shown that he can efficiently operate New England’s game plan, which can’t be said of all rookie quarterbacks so far this season.
The Patriots were able to snag a potential franchise quarterback at No. 15 overall without having to trade up to get him. Considering some of the starts of the players drafted in front of him, New England has to be pleased with the way he’s played so far.
These three rookies were all picked before Jones, but considering how they have played in their first handful of games, it’s safe to say that the Patriots aren’t exactly full of buyer’s remorse at the moment.
3 highly-touted rookies that Patriots QB Mac Jones is outperforming.
3. Devonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Smith is on pace for around 1,000 yards this season, but with a good chunk of his yards coming against a tissue-thin Chiefs defense in an offense that throws the ball on basically every play, Smith’s production might not be as impressive as the raw box score numbers will indicate.
Jones’ ex-teammate, who won the Heisman over him last season, had five catches for 40 yards in a two-game span against San Francisco and Dallas. He’ll be fine in the NFL, as he has tremendous hands and route-running skills, but Pats fans who were hoping for a receiver like Smith to come to town in the draft may not be regretting the Jones selection.
Patriots QB Mac Jones might have a better long-term outlook than Devonta Smith.
If the Eagles are still skeptical of Jalen Hurts and his ability to be a franchise quarterback, they had a golden opportunity to add one of five young quarterbacks to their roster this year. They passed and went with Smith, and there is a chance that by the end of the season, some within that organization regret that decision.
The Patriots spent their money on skill position players and their draft capital on a young quarterback, a strategy that is becoming more and more commonplace in the modern NFL given the rookie contract scale. The Patriots are tied to Jones for the next few seasons, while the Eagles have a solid receiver in Smith and a whole boatload of questions.