NFL scout claims Bill Belichick is failing Mac Jones
By Jerry Trotta
The New England Patriots took a polar opposite approach to the offseason compared to most of AFC’s top teams.
While Bill Belichick and Co. pinched their pennies and made small-scale additions and head-scratching moves, clubs like the Bills, Bengals, Ravens, Chargers, Broncos and Colts, among others, went out and had representative offseasons.
That list doesn’t even include the Chiefs, who now boast a more balanced roster after offloading Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.
The Patriots, on the other hand, didn’t make any moves that left fans with confidence that they’ll improve on their 10-7 record. You’d think they’d be aggressive in trying to expedite Mac Jones’ development and maximize their ceiling while he’s still on a rookie contract.
Alas, it truly wouldn’t be surprising if New England finished third in the AFC East next season and one national NFL scout, Damian Parson of The Draft Network, strongly believes Belichick has failed his young QB heading into Year 2.
NFL scout Damian Parson believes Patriots head coach Bill Belichick failed Mac Jones this offseason
In Parson’s eyes, the selections of Cole Strange and Tyquan Thornton in the NFL Draft and acquisition of DeVante Parker are nowhere near strong enough to catapult New England back to the top of the division. Our guess is Parson’s comments will echo the sentiments of numerous Patriots fans.
"“I’m a little concerned,” Parson said. “I just look at the offense, and we go back to the draft. You drafted two more running backs, Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris. Bailey Zappe in the fourth round made absolutely no sense to me. I was just like, ‘How does this help Mac?’“I would have rather went and got more pieces, especially for the receiving standpoint to help Mac. I don’t feel like this offense weaponry-wise is built to where it should be. … There’s an old adage: you draft to win your division. To me, I don’t feel [Bill Belichick] did enough to help Mac win the division. Looking at what [Belichick] did, I don’t see the true improvement.”"
We’re hard-pressed to disagree with Parson here. While the Patriots’ receiver room definitely improved on paper, Parker’s never been a No. 1 option. Perhaps Belichick is banking that Parker’s physical intangibles will draw multiple defenders and create more real estate for Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers?
As for Thornton, will the second-round pick beef up enough between now and the regular season to log significant snaps as a rookie? More importantly, will the Baylor product pick up the playbook fast enough to warrant playing time? Reports from minicamp indicate Thornton is going through growing pains.
We truly have no idea what Belichick was thinking drafting two more running backs and selecting Strange while letting the versatile Ted Karras walk in free agency and trading the underrated Shaq Mason to the Bucs for a fifth-round pick that got flipped during the draft. All of this falls under the “questionable” category.
It’s probably premature to say Belichick is failing Jones, but Patriots fans who were left wanting more from the offseason in terms of building around the franchise quarterback have every reason to feel that way.