What New England Patriots are getting in Alabama football QB Mac Jones in 2021 NFL Draft

Mikey DiLullo
The Tuscaloosa News
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Alabama football quarterback Mac Jones was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Jones went from a fringe NFL prospect to becoming the 15th overall pick, becoming one of the most polarizing quarterback prospects in this draft. Jones comes into the NFL leaving behind a storied career at Alabama, capping off the 2020 season with a national championship. He worked his way up from scout team to becoming the first-string quarterback, and now will head to the pros. 

There were rumblings that the San Francisco 49ers were going to take him third overall after trading up to that spot, but he fell to the Patriots as the fifth quarterback taken in the draft.

LIVE UPDATES:Follow along for all of Alabama's picks in the NFL Draft

Here's what the Patriots are getting:

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones greets fans after he was chosen by the New England Patriots with the 15th pick in the NFL football draft, Thursday April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The positives

Jones' mental makeup is among the best of all quarterbacks in this draft. His stats in 2020 were all among the best in the nation, with 4,500 passing yards on an NCAA-record 77.4% completion percentage with 41 touchdown passes.

Jones also stacked up the accolades. He was named first-team All-American, becoming the first Alabama quarterback to do so in 85 years. He was also the winner of the Davey O'Brien Award as college football's best quarterback, as well as the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the best upperclassman quarterback. Jones was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

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The concerns

Jones played with many talented teammates during his time at Alabama, including wide receivers DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. Because of this, there are questions on how well his skills will translate to the NFL, given that he will not be surrounded with a roster that enjoys such a talent gap over its opponents in the pros.

Jones also comes into the NFL Draft with only 17 starts at Alabama. He did not have the game tape entering the draft that other quarterbacks such as Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson had in this draft class.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones warms up before an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against Ohio State Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Final thoughts

Jones may not have the highest floor of the quarterbacks in this class, but he does have a very high ceiling. He may not start right off the bat in the NFL, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many top NFL quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes spent most or all of their rookie seasons on the bench. In terms of short-term impact, Jones won't have much, if any, should he begin the season on the bench. However, Jones his long-term potential to become a franchise quarterback intrigued NFL teams.

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