Patriots select Alabama QB Mac Jones with the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
After speculation regarding a trade up for week, the Patriots were able to stay at 15 – and land a player many expected to go in the top three. With the pick, the team drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, making him the highest quarterback selected by the team since Drew Bledsoe was taken first overall in 1993.
Jones emerged as an elite quarterback last year at Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and National Championship. He’s the second Alabama quarterback to go in the first round in as many years, after Tua Tagovailoa went fifth overall last year to the Miami Dolphins.
Starting 13 games in 2020, he completed 77.4 percent of his 402 pass attempts, throwing 41 touchdowns with just four interceptions. Many will be quick to point out he posted that numbers working with some elite talent around him, such as Jaylen Waddle and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith, who both went in the top 10. Expect that narrative to follow him to New England, although he’ll have some impressive targets in Foxborough as well after the Patriots’ free agent spending spree.
For a time, he was expected to be the San Francisco 49ers target with the third overall pick. However, they ended up taking North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
In New England, Jones will join a quarterback room consisting of last year’s starter Cam Newton, and 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham. He’ll likely push Newton, who was re-signed to a one-year deal back in March, for the starting job throughout the season.
With Jones in place, the Patriots turn their attention to the remainder of the draft. The 46th overall pick in the next of their nine remaining scheduled selections. Given the limited space on their roster, many expect they will attempt to consolidate some of those picks and move up at some point. Their biggest remaining needs include tackle, cornerback, safety, and wide receiver.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.