Ever since the New England Patriots drafted Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, people wondered how he would perform in Foxborough. He was the first quarterback the Patriots have drafted that highly since they took Drew Bledsoe number one overall in 1993. The hope is that Jones can become the next Patriots quarterback to take them back to a Super Bowl championship, just like his predecessor Tom Brady did six times. The man who many consider the greatest quarterback of all time and the man who is an icon in Foxborough.
No one can compare to Tom Brady. He has accomplished so much in his NFL career, and he is still playing at an extremely high level. However, it is essential to remember that Brady was not a high draft pick for as great as he has become. Nor did he have scouts raving over him or have NFL general managers trying to figure out ways to move up and grab him in the first round. He did, however, show something that the Patriots saw and liked about him.
On the other hand, Jones showed some promise and played exceptionally well at Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide to another National Championship and became a first-round pick. So how exactly do he and Brady compare to each other? Let’s take a look.
Brady is a California kid who made his way to the University of Michigan and played there from 1995-to 1999. He was a highly rated prospect who was also a good baseball player that would get drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 1995 MLB Draft. Brady sat behind Brian Griese, who led the Wolverines to a national championship in 1997 for two years. He then started all the games, both his junior and senior season, although he split time with Drew Henson the first seven games of the season before head coach Lloyd Carr decided to go with him exclusively.
He would lead the Wolverines to a victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes, which gave them a trip to the Orange Bowl, playing the Alabama Crimson Tide. He would lead the Wolverines to a 35-34 comeback victory and pass for 369 yards and four touchdowns in this game. He would finish his Wolverine career with a 20-5 record and a pair of bowl victories. It was this Orange Bowl game where he first showed what he was capable of doing, what he has now done in the NFL for 20 years.
Jones was a four-star recruit from Jacksonville, Florida, who originally committed to Kentucky then switched to Alabama. In 2017, he redshirted as a freshman since Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa were on the roster. In 2018, he was once again behind Hurts and Tua. However, he did appear in 14 of 15 games. In 2019, he was the backup to Tua and started the season’s last four games when Tua suffered a severe hip injury. He would lead the Crimson Tide to a 35-16 Citrus Bowl victory over the Michigan Wolverines.
In 2020, he became the starter and set the NCAA season record for completion percentage with 77.4. He also led the Crimson Tide to a national championship defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24, where he passed for 464 yards and five touchdowns. He was a Consensus All-American and won the Davey O’Brien, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, and Manning Awards. After the game, he would declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
During the 2000 NFL Draft cycle, Brady was not on the radar of many NFL Scouts and General Managers since he wasn’t among the top NFL prospects. Then, he went to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he did not perform well, and the video of him running the 40-yard dash is legendary. Eventually, the Patriots would select him with the 199th pick overall in the draft’s sixth round, with six other quarterbacks taken before him It was the injury to Drew Bledsoe, which happened in the second game of the 2001 season, that would give Brady the chance to play and show what he could do. The rest is history.
The Patriots selected Mac Jones with the number 16 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. After having a good pro day at Alabama, he was viewed as a first-round pick but rated as the fifth quarterback in the class that included Trevor Lawrence (first,) Zach Wilson (second,) Trey Lance (third,) and Justin Fields (12th.)
Jones entered training camp behind Cam Newton and Jarret Stidham for the starting quarterback job. However, he first opened some eyes during the mini-camp with his play and leadership. That continued during training camp and also during the preseason. He beat out Newton, who started for the Patriots in 2020.
First Full NFL Season
In his rookie season, Brady began as the fourth-string quarterback, but by the end of the season, he was the backup and appeared in only one game, attempting three passes. Following the injury to Bledsoe, Brady came in and played surprisingly well in his absence. Bill Belichick would keep him as the starter even when Bledsoe was clear to return. Brady would lead the Patriots to the AFC East division title and an 11-5 record while getting the second seed in the playoffs. He would throw for 2,843 yards and 18 touchdowns with a 63.9 completion percentage on the season.
The Patriots would defeat the Oakland Raiders in the infamous Tuck Rule Game. The following week they would go to Heinz Field to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship game. Brady would leave the game early due to an ankle injury, and Bledsoe would relieve him. The Patriots would win the game and head to Super Bowl XXXVI, where they would upset the St. Louis Rams 20-17 and keep the Greatest Show On Turf offense in check. Brady would lead the Patriots to an upset win and be named the MVP.
Jones had an excellent first season in New England. He started the season slowly, but the playbook opened up for him as it went on. The Patriots started the season 2-4, which included close losses to the Miami Dolphins 17-16, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17, and the Dallas Cowboys 35-29 in overtime. However, they would get hot after the Cowboy’s loss and win seven straight games, putting them at 9-4 and briefly atop the AFC standings. Then, unfortunately, they would lose three out of their last four games and end with a 10-7 record.
They would secure a wild-card spot in the playoffs, where they were defeated soundly by the Buffalo Bills 47-17. He finished the season with 3,801 yards passing, 22 touchdowns, and a 67.6 completion percentage. He was also the only rookie quarterback to post a winning record and lead his team to the playoffs. All in all, it was a pretty good season for Jones, considering his wide receivers unit. That unit was much better and improved this year compared to 2020 but still lacks a big-time playmaker.
Despite a 21 year age difference, Brady and Jones have some similarities. Brady was listed at 6’4 and 211 pounds during their respective pre-draft measurables. Jones was 6’3 and 217 pounds. They both benefited from having a great offensive coordinator during their rookie season or the first entire season. Brady had Charlie Weiss, and Jones had Josh McDaniels (who Brady had as well.) In addition, both had the luxury of having Belichick as their head coach, which meant that their defense would be good.
Brady and Jones led their teams to the playoffs as a starter in their first entire season. Brady led the Patriots to an 11-5 record and a Super Bowl Championship. He threw for 2,843 yards with 18 touchdowns and a 63.9 completion percentage. Jones led them to a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance while throwing for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns and a 67.6 completion percentage. Both of them had good defenses.
No one compares Mac Jones to Tom Brady because he cannot compare. Brady is the GOAT and will probably play another few years, considering he just wrapped up his 22nd NFL season by throwing for 5,316 yards and 43 touchdowns. But it is crazy not to see that there are some similarities that they both showed in their first season as a starter. As much as I am a Patriots fan, I do not see them making a run through the AFC Playoffs and the Super bowl.
In his first playoff, Brady had the luxury of an open week in the first round of the playoffs and a home game. As a result, he advanced to and won his first Super Bowl championship. Jones won’t have either and would have to win three road playoff games to make it to the Super Bowl. It is not an impossible task, but it would be challenging. These quarterbacks are very different but are similar in specific ways to answer the question.
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