Mac Jones had the best rookie season among the five first-round quarterbacks selected in the draft in 2021. However improbable that was, his rookie year paved the way for him to finish second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the NFL. It also allowed him to finish as a QB2 in dynasty. Jones led the Patriots to the playoffs after they had missed the year prior.
As many speculated, Jones was indeed the most pro-ready QB selected. It had to have helped that he had a solid offensive line, rushing game, and a great coach in Bill Belichek. So, can he rise once more towards being a QB1, or will he endure a sophomore slump like many second-year players?
2021 Season Review
Jones had the best season out of the five rookie QBs – Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields. That doesn’t mean that Jones lit up the stat-book or was truly a deserving Pro Bowler. He had a game in which he threw for 19 yards on two completions which is beyond impressive. Jones had a 67.6% completion rate en route to 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and 3,801 yards. He averaged a lackluster 7.0 air yards per attempt. He wasn’t much of a rusher, with zero touchdowns and only 129 yards on the ground. Jones had a good season, but not a stellar season.
2022 Season Projections
Like many NFL players, Jones could struggle in his second year in the NFL. The Patriots will do their best to avoid that. They added another wide receiver in DeVante Parker to give Jones a big-body target. He still has Jakobi Meyers and Hunter Henry. The running game will be pounding away. I would expect Jones to improve upon his numbers from 2021. Though don’t expect a huge increase.
I still view Jones as QB2 in dynasty this year. He will give you 16.9 PPG in six-point touchdown leagues. He won’t win you weeks, but he is a stable QB2. I view him eventually becoming similar to Kirk Cousins, who’s an ideal QB2 in fantasy. The downside for Jones is his lack of rushing, which hurts his point totals. Do expect another strong game-manager season from Big Mac Jones. He proved he belonged in dynasty.
Buy/Sell Mac Jones
This is a tough choice since I don’t think you will win a championship if you have to rely on Jones as either of your top-two QBs. However, he’s only playing in his age-24 season. He could easily start playing like a top QB. In a perfect world, on a championship team, Jones would be that team’s QB3. He won’t start every week but can fill in due to byes or injury. If you need a reliable QB3, see if you can buy him for a far-off first-round pick. I wouldn’t think he is worth a 2023 first.
I will gladly take Jones in a trade if I have a rebuilding team. He’s 24, doesn’t cost a ton, and is a perfect QB to tank with. He won’t score many points but is a worthy QB to start building around. He can shift to your QB2 role when the time to compete comes assuming he grows as I predict in his skill.
Jones is an ascending QB that took the Patriots to the playoffs in his rookie year. He will be pushed to perform even better than in his rookie year when he made the Pro Bowl. Expect to see him improve but maintain realistic expectations. This is a rushing-oriented team he is on. He won’t be throwing for a ton of yards or touchdowns like Brady. Focus on getting Jones in a rebuild or as your QB3 if you’re contending. He’s going to be another late-end QB2 this year with a chance to be a mid-QB2.
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As always, May the Force be with You…