As it turned out, they found him just a year later when they took Mac Jones with the 15th pick in last year’s NFL Draft.
He played well this past season, putting up 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns and making the Pro Bowl while finishing second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting.
It has led Pats fans, some of whom are spoiled because of the team’s six Super Bowl championships, to think that Jones may be a legitimate MVP candidate this coming season.
Mac Jones next year is going to be a problem pic.twitter.com/EqfiVn3vGN
— Patriotsfeeder (@patriotsfeeder) March 20, 2022
Could that be a reasonable expectation, or is it simply a bunch of hot air?
What Jones Has Going For Him
When a young, emerging quarterback has a great, calculating tactician like Belichick on his side, he has a great foundation and support system to build on.
Jones proved that he’s a reliable manager and that he can get the ball to where it needs to go, and although New England doesn’t have the greatest collection of receivers, it could do a lot worse than Kendrick Bourne, Jakobi Meyers, and tight end Hunter Henry.
After the Pats started 2-4, Jones led them to a seven-game winning streak that had observers talking about them as a dark-horse Super Bowl contender.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has left to join the Oakland Raiders, and although there is uncertainty about how the Pats will fill that vacancy, the right offensive coordinator could raise Jones’ game that much more.
Why Jones Won’t Be A Serious MVP Candidate
For one, there are simply too many other serious MVP candidates who will crowd out Jones and lower his chances of winning the award.
If Russell Wilson bounces back with the Denver Broncos and leads them to a great season, he could be a frontrunner.
In addition, Tom Brady is back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and many of his cohorts will also be back there.
Remember that Brady was the runner-up to Aaron Rodgers for last season’s MVP award, and Rodgers himself could be in the running as well.
But the biggest reason why Jones may not be a serious candidate for the accolade is his own limitations.
Imagine thinking Von Miller is washed up while also thinking Mac Jones is a franchise QB. The delusion is real.
— Anthony Custode Jr (@uncensored_ant) March 17, 2022
He doesn’t seem to be as dynamic as some other QBs, and he doesn’t seem to be the greatest at connecting on deep shots downfield, especially in key situations.
Against the Bills in the Wild Card round, he threw two interceptions in New England’s 47-17 blowout loss.
Another issue with Jones is his apparent propensity to throw the ball away.
He had 13 interceptions in 2021 for a 2.5 percent INT rate, and he threw three pick-sixes, which was tied for second in the NFL.
It’s something he can certainly improve on, but if he doesn’t, it’s hard to imagine him being named the NFL MVP next winter.