With the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected QB Mac Jones - designating him as their QB of the future in the process. But does former Patriots star Julian Edelman think he's up to the task?
In a recent podcast interview with Michael Irvin, Edelman said that confidence will be key to Jones finding success. He made it clear that it won't be easy playing in New England as the follow-up act to Tom Brady.
“He needs to have that eye,” Edelman said, via ProFootballTalk. “He needs to have that confidence. … What are you going to do? This kid, it’s not easy playing in New England, especially after Tom Brady, if he gets the opportunity and beats out the other guy. This ain’t going to be easy. This town is tough, this town is mean, this town is blue-collar. Boston people, the New England people, they want winning. They’re used to that in all sports. The kid’s going to have a lot of pressure.”
Edelman also said that the expectations for Jones are going to be different from almost any other player Bill Belichick has ever drafted. He pointed out that usually the Patriots are getting defensive players or late-first round picks - so being a quarterback has its own pressures.
“When you play on Bill teams, [first-round picks] are usually defensive ends,” Edelman said. “Those are usually corners. We usually have the 28th pick or something — we’re getting a defensive player. That’s how Bill builds a team. But if you come in and you’re a quarterback drafted by Bill Belichick, I mean, let’s go, buddy.”
Mac Jones had one of the greatest seasons in college football history this past year, setting all kinds of records en route to winning a national title for Alabama.
Once considered a mid- to late-round NFL prospect, his draft stock skyrocketed to the point where there was an argument over whether he'd be a top-3 pick.
Bill Belichick didn't trade up for him, but he graciously took Jones once he fell to him at 15.
And now the Patriots have their designated starter in the years to come.