New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is gaining respect around the NFL. Following his breakout performance in Week 10, Jones received praise from one of the best defenders in the NFL.
That would be Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who called out everyone who doubted Jones before his big game.
Mac Jones wasn’t trendy enough for y’all at first huh now y’all love him…. Man, y’all funny!!! Day in and day out!!! Y’all should be on Comedy Central
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) November 16, 2021
Mathieu has a point. Evaluators liked a handful of quarterbacks better than Jones entering the 2021 NFL draft. Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Trevor Lawrence were at the top of most draft boards. Opinions varied on Zach Wilson, but some believed he was worth a top-3 pick.
Of that group, Jones has the best numbers. Through 10 games, he's thrown for 13 touchdowns against 7 interceptions. He's rarely been asked to carry the Patriots' offense, but he's been effective at what the team asks of him.
Directly comparing the other quarterbacks to Jones is difficult, as Lawrence is the only other member of that group to start every game this season. Lawrence has 8 touchdowns against 9 interceptions in nine starts.
Fields has shown promise in an up and down rookie year, Lance hasn't played enough to evaluate and Wilson got injured after a tough start.
Will Mac Jones be the best quarterback from the 2021 NFL draft?
Jones' start is encouraging, but it's far too early to write off the other quarterbacks taken at the top of the 2021 NFL draft. Of those prospects, Jones went to the best situation. Bill Belichick is among the best coaches in NFL history and Josh McDaniels has a strong track record as an offensive coordinator.
Fields, Lawrence and Wilson weren't as fortunate. Their organizations don't have a recent track record of excellence, and their coaches are either on the hot seat or just getting started in the NFL.
There's still plenty of time for that trio — and Lance — to prove they were worthy of a first-round pick, but it would be foolish to write them off after a handful of starts.