New England Patriots

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. (Syndication: The Tennessean)

Mac Jones is adding another accolade to his strong rookie resume. He has been added to the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster as an alternate, replacing Lamar Jackson after an ankle injury sidelined him through the end of the Ravens’ season.

Jones produced a strong introduction in Foxboro, throwing for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also became the first rookie since Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck in 2012 to start every game and also start a playoff game.

The signal-caller out of Alabama becomes the first Patriots rookie since Devin McCourty in 2010 to be selected to the Pro Bowl.

During that same span, seven other quarterbacks have made the Pro Bowl in their rookie seasons. Here is a quick look at how the others performed. 

 

  • Andy Dalton (Alternate)

    Dec 1, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates as the team gets the first win of the season against the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 1, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates as the team gets the first win of the season against the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

    2011, Cincinnati, Round 2, Pick 35
    3,398 yards, 20 TD, 13 INT

    Dalton offers the most comparable rookie season to Jones. Dalton led a capable offense that gave his team a chance to win. Like Jones, he did struggle at times with interceptions and lost his first playoff game in the wild card round on the road.

  • Cam Newton (Alternate)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 29: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks to pass the ball against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – AUGUST 29: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks to pass the ball against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    2011, Auburn, Round 1 Pick 1
    Stats: 4,051 yards, 21 TD, 17 INT

    Newton’s rookie season laid the groundwork for his dominant play early in his career that led to an MVP award in 2015. Newton threw for over 4,000 yards and took home the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. His passing game struggled later in his career and eventually led to Mac Jones beating him out for the starting job in New England in 2021.

  • Andrew Luck (Alternate)

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 30: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass in the 2nd quarter against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    INDIANAPOLIS, IN – SEPTEMBER 30: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass in the 2nd quarter against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

    2012, Indianapolis, Round 1 Pick 1
    Stats: 4,374 yards, 23 TD, 18 INT

    After being selected first overall as Peyton Manning’s successor, Luck led a productive offense and had more passing yards than his fellow rookies on this list. For comparison, Jones threw for the same amount of touchdowns with a lower interception rate. The Stanford product did show off an early ability to convert in the clutch, leading a league-best seven-game winning drives. Both quarterbacks earned a playoff berth before falling in the wild card round.

  • Robert Griffin III

    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 03:  Quarterback  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws the ball in the first quarter while taking on the New York Giants at FedExField on December 3, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    LANDOVER, MD – DECEMBER 03: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws the ball in the first quarter while taking on the New York Giants at FedExField on December 3, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

    2012, Washington, Round 1 Pick 2
    Stats: 3,200 yards, 20 TD, 5 INT

    After an electrifying Heisman campaign at Baylor, Griffin III made an immediate impact to help Washington capture its first division title since 1999. The rookie also took exceptional care of the ball with a league-low 1.9% interception rate. As a notable dual-threat, Griffin III tacked on another 815 yards and seven scores with his legs. Griffin III also lost his playoff debut to Seattle in a game where he aggravated a prior knee injury.

  • Russell Wilson (Alternate)

    Sep 20, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    Sep 20, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws a touchdown pass against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

    2012, Seattle, Round 3 Pick 75
    Stats: 3,118 yards, 26 TD, 10 INT

    While he was not a first-round pick, Wilson made magic all season long. Highlights from the season include the “Fail Mary” walk-off touchdown on Monday Night Football, to a playoff win in Washington, to nearly defeating Atlanta after erasing a twenty-point deficit in the divisional round. Wilson represents the peak of this group and the level of play that Jones will look to reach.

  • Jameis Winston (Alternate)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints looks to make a pass while under pressure from Deatrich Wise Jr. #91 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints looks to make a pass while under pressure from Deatrich Wise Jr. #91 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    2015, Tampa Bay, Round 1 Pick 1
    Stats: 4,042 yards, 22 TD, 15 INT

    After a storied career at Florida State that included a national championship win over Auburn, Winston took his aggressive style of passing to the NFL, joining Luck and Newton in throwing for over 4,000 yards. Jones and Winston offer two very different styles of play in two very different offenses.

  • Dak Prescott

    Oct 17, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) under pressure from New England Patriots outside linebacker Matt Judon (9) in the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Oct 17, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) under pressure from New England Patriots outside linebacker Matt Judon (9) in the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    2016, Dallas, Round 4 Pick 135
    Stats: 3,667 yards, 23 TD, 4 INT

    Prescott soared from his mid-round selection to lead Dallas to the number one seed in the NFC. He grew into his own as a passer to compliment a dynamic run game with fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott. Despite losing in the divisional round to Green Bay at the hands of another miraculous game-winning drive from Aaron Rodgers, Dak impressed on his way to becoming one of the league’s most productive quarterbacks. Jones will continue to replicate this game plan of advantageous big plays in the passing game behind a hard-nosed rushing attack.

  • What does this mean for Mac Jones?

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK - JANUARY 15: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

    BUFFALO, NEW YORK – JANUARY 15: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

    Among these seven quarterbacks, Jones offered several similarities in his first season under center. He surpassed 20 touchdowns, flirted with 4,000 passing yards, and led his team to the postseason. Jones offered promise with plenty of room to grow.

    Entering year two, Jones will look to evolve as a passer. His improvement will have to come from the pocket, as he lacks the mobility to make major plays with his legs as other quarterbacks on this list have.

    At the same time, there are qualities from the rest of the list to help his own game.

    Just as Prescott did, Jones still has a power running game to rely upon through the dynamic young duo of Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. He has also proven himself to be a capable leader, which defined Russell Wilson early in his career and led to a championship in his second season. Jones will also have to learn from rookie mistakes, particularly in the second half of the season. Like others on the list, interceptions plagued him down the stretch, throwing seven of his 13 interceptions following the bye week.

    After a 10-7 regular season and 60 minutes of playoff experience, Jones is right in line with these fellow rookie Pro Bowlers. The most comparable season would align him with Andy Dalton: a growing potential for big plays through the air, the need to limit interceptions, and a path to learn following a first-round playoff exit.

    Jones’ ceiling remains high, and a season of reading NFL defenses and finding the rhythm in the New England offense sets him up for an enticing second season. He will look to defy a sophomore slump to pick up where the Patriots left off in the team’s quest to reestablish New England as a legitimate contender in the AFC.