Patriots’ quarterback Mac Jones looks poised to breakout in year two. Where does he rank among all AFC signal callers for the upcoming season?
Mac Jones has been a polarizing figure during his short time in the NFL. Some seem to think that the player is ready to have to MVP-caliber season, while some think that he’s merely a product of the system and is someone who will have a low ceiling.
Whatever you may personally think of Mac Jones, there’s no denying the success he had in 2021, and the likelihood that he plays much better in 2022.
An interesting thought I has is where Mac Jones falls among the AFC’s best signal callers.
The AFC is filled with an insane number of young and elite quarterbacks. Mac Jones may not have the wow factor that Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen have, but he’s certainly got the talent to be in the league for a long time.
So, let’s first start with the quarterbacks that, as of right now, Mac Jones is not better than.
The entire AFC West is a good place to start, as Jones is not as good as Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, or Derek Carr. I think he could get close to Derek Carr at season’s end, but he isn’t there right now.
Moving on to the AFC North, and it’s a safe bet that Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, and Deshaun Watson are better quarterbacks than Mac Jones.
I do not think either Kenny Pickett or Mitchell Trubisky are particularly close to Jones, and I think that gap ends up being larger next season.
The AFC South is a bit kinder to Jones. I truly only think that Matt Ryan is better than Jones at this moment in time, but, like Derek Carr, I think Jones can get very close to being as good as Matt Ryan when the season is over.
As for the Patriots division, the AFC East, it’s clear that Josh Allen is the only superior quarterback.
So, by my count, that would be nine quarterbacks who I would say are better than Mac Jones.
These nine are Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and Josh Allen.
What I find a bit unfortunate about the situation with Mac Jones is he could have an amazing 2022 season, but still barely be a top seven quarterback in his own conference.
It’s safe to assume that Mahomes, Herbert, Burrow, Jackson, Allen, and Watson, who are all in their mid 20s, will likely be better QBs than Jones for the duration of their careers.
However, being the 10th best quarterback in the insanely talented AFC is nothing to be ashamed of.