The New England Patriots drafted Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 Draft and early returns on the University of Alabama product were good. After a strong rookie campaign, Jones was expected to take a step forward in his second year and instead he missed a few games with injury and questions about his arm strength and ability to lead an offense rised to the surface. Is this a do-or-die season for Jones or will the Patriots continue to be patient with him.
Patriots starting quarterback: Mac Jones
In his rookie season Jones completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns. It was good enough for Jones to make the Pro Bowl and the PFWA All-Rookie team. Jones’ sophomore year was less impressive. He missed three games with an ankle sprain and never really got on track in his return. Jones did threw for 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns, but also threw 11 interceptions. This feels like a critical season for Jones. He’ll need to get off to a quick start to quiet voices that might want backup Bailey Zappe to get a closer look.
Who is Mac Jones’s backup on the Patriots QB depth chart?
Bailey Zappe, a fourth-round pick by the Patriots in the 2022 Draft, got a taste of NFL action last season. He had a 2-0 record as a starter and appeared to be in a position to put pressure on the struggling Jones. Zappe may have had his chance in Week 7 when Jones was benched after struggling against the Chicago Bears. After leading the Patriots down the field for a touchdown, Zappe’s success began to wane. He threw two interceptions and was relegated to backup duties for the rest of the season. If Zappe has a strong preseason and Jones gets off to a slow start, he could challenge for the starting job again.