Mac Jones is the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. He was born in Jacksonville, Florida and put himself on the map after successful high school seasons at The Bolles School in Jacksonville. Jones accepted a scholarship to the University of Alabama in 2017, but was stuck behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa upon his arrival. He finally got his chance to shine after Hurts’ transfer to the University of Oklahoma and Tagovailoa’s hip injury in 2019. Jones then earned the starting quarterback gig in Alabama in 2020, over the No. 1 ranked quarterback prospect his that year's recruiting class, Bryce Young.
Jones made the most of his opportunity to start for the Crimson Tide. He threw for more yards (4,500) than Tagovailoa did as Alabama’s QB. Jones’ 203.1 passer rating and 77.4-percent completion percentage in his 2020 season were NCAA records. He also added 41 touchdowns to four interceptions and averaged 11.2 yards per pass attempt. Jones brought his college career to a crescendo in the 2020 postseason. Over the course of three games from the SEC Championship to the College Football Playoff, he dished out 1,179 yards and fourteen touchdowns with only one interception.
Jones’ record-setting season in 2020 facilitated his entrance into the 2021 NFL Draft. After rumors he would go to the San Francisco 49ers as the third overall pick, the 49ers opted for Trey Lance. Jones fell to the Patriots at pick number fifteen. He impressed right away in his rookie season, forcing his way into the opening week starting lineup after beating out former MVP Cam Newton for the starting position. He started all 17 games his rookie season and joined number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence as the only rookie quarterbacks to start every game in 2021. Jones ended the season with 3,801 yards, a 67.6-percent completion percentage, and 22 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions. He ranked No. 15 among quarterbacks in Deep Ball Attempts (62), No. 14 in True Passer Rating, No. 16 in QBR, and a 60.8-percent Red Zone Completion Percentage. He also put up 4,260 (No. 10) Air Yards on his way to a QB18 finish in fantasy.
jones took a step back in 2022. Belichick hired defensive minded Matt Patricia as the offensive coordinator, and it was clear Jones was unimpressed with the scheme. His productivity suffered. His numbers were down in passing yards, passing touchdowns, Yards Per Attempt and True Passer Rating from his rookie season. The Patriots realized their blunder and fired Patricia after the 2022 season. They hired Bill O'Brien to replace him. In true Patriot fashion, however, they have gathered a group of mid-level receiving talent for Jones. The offense can't get worse, but it remains to be seen whether the Patriots have set Jones up for success as an NFL quarterback in 2023.