Josh McDaniels Reveals What Drew Patriots To Picking Mac Jones

By Jason Hall

June 3, 2021

New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones already has a fan in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

During a videoconference with media members on Thursday (June 3), McDaniels praised Jones' performance at the University of Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide to an undefeated record in SEC play and College Football Playoff National Championship, which he believes prepared him for the pressure of being an NFL quarterback.

“Mac — he’s won a lot of games in the last year-plus at Alabama,” McDaniels said via USA TODAY. “He’s played in some big games, some pressure situations. He takes care of the football. He has demonstrated an ability to function at a pretty high level in their system (at Alabama) and their offense with their terminology. He competed in a league that’s — I would say — widely regarded as one of the top conferences, if notthetop conference, in all of college football.
“To play the position of quarterback, there’s certainly not just one thing you need to do well. He certainly stood out in certain obvious ways, relative to throwing the football, command, protecting the football and not hurting his football team. There’s a lot to look at and digest as you study him.”

Jones began voluntary OTAs last month for the first time since being selected No. 15 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. So far, the former University of Alabama standout has left a strong impression on teammates Jakobi Meyers and Mike Onwenu, the Boston Globe reports.

“The couple of days we’ve had together, he’s definitely been easy to work with,” Meyers said of Jones. “He probably won’t run past everybody, so throwing a catchable ball is definitely something that’s gotten him to where he is. And he’s blessed to have the arm talent that he has.’'

Onwenu credited Jones' immediate chemistry with other members of the Patriots' offense.

“I mean, I think he looks good all around,” Onwenu said. “I think he fits the personnel and fits the team.”

In 2020, Jones led Alabama to a College Football National Championship and was third in the Heisman voting behind teammate DeVonta Smith and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence during his lone season as Alabama's full-time starting quarterback.

Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions on 311 of 402 passing -- while also recording one rushing touchdown -- while leading the Crimson Tide to a 13-0 record in 2020.

Jones also made four starts in the absence of Tua Tagovailoa following a season-ending injury in 2019.

Photo: Getty Images

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