Did Bill Belichick acquire a Delorean, hit 88 MPH, and try and get the Patriots to the team we all recognize?
That's what the Patriots have to be hoping after the First Round of the NFL Draft.
Heading into the offseason following the New England Patriots' first season below .500 in the Bill Belichick era, it was clear that for New England to be competitive again in The NFL in the near and immediate future, the quarterback position would have to be addressed in the long term.
And that appears to be exactly what happened Thursday night during the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the 15th pick in the first round, The New England Patriots selected quarterback Mac Jones out of Alabama. The highly-touted Quarterback fell right into the Patriots' lap following some surprise moves earlier in the round. The first two selections were not surprising; Trevor Lawrence will now call DUVAL his new home with The Jacksonville Jaguars, while Zach Wilson hopes to lead Gang Green back to relevance with the New York Jets. But while those two picks were set in stone, every selection from the moment forward had fans in New England on the edge of their seats, knowing the franchise's future could hinge on if and who the Patriots selected as their next Quarterback of the Future.
For much of the offseason, and especially leading up to the draft, much of the chatter surrounding The Patriots future at Quarterback featured a name we are all too familiar with in San Fransisco's Jimmy Garopollo, with some reports even stating that The Patriots and Garopollo were working on a New Contract. But, with the selection of Trey Lance by the 49ers and the choice of Justin Fields, who the Patriots could have moved up to acquire, to the Chicago Bears, and Jones to the Patriots, I think we can all finally put those rumors to bed.
But with Mac Jones now a member of the New England Patriots, the future of the Patriots looks a whole lot like the past.
In our recent interview with The Boston Herald's Karen Guregian, she believed that IF the Patriots were to draft a quarterback this year, it would be more in the style of a player of current quarterback Cam Newtown, not Tom Brady:
"I would watch for the Patriots drafting someone more like [Cam Newton] than Tom Brady. And by that, I mean a mobile-type quarterback. Because again... they're not changing up the whole offense, but they're making it more suitable....to Cam [Newton]. And, I'm sure they're going to do even more things to make it suitable for a mobile running quarterback. So...Why would you draft the future, And have them be a pocket passer?"
Jones spent his career in Alabama around some truly unbelievable talent; two of his relievers from the 2021 CFB Champion Crismon Tide, Jaylen Waddle and Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith, were also selected in the first round, and let's not forget who he played behind in 2019, Heisman Trophy winner and current Quarterback of the Miami Dolphin Tua Tagovailoa. So the argument can be made: Is Mac Jones really a potentially Top Level NFL Quarterback, or was he just boosted by the talent he had around him?
For years, commentators have made the argument that Tom Brady was merely a quarterback who was boosted because of the talent put around him, even after winning 6 Super Bowls and then winning a 7th with a Brand New Team in Tampa Bay.
The 2021 Patriots had no real weapons, except their run game, which, while effective, is not the way you win in the NFL now, the NFL is a passing league, and if there is one thing Mac Jones knows how to do, it is pass.
He set College Football QBR Record in 2020, completed 77% of his passes, had a 41/1 TD/INT ratio, and led CFB in play-action and under pressure.
Cam Newton will be the first to tell you, his first season as the Patriots quarterback was a disappointment, but he is a former MVP in the NFL, but nobody should be blaming him for the Patriots season last year, as clearly that team was not prepared for life without Tom Brady.
Realizing this, and undoubtedly embarrassed and humiliated, Bill Bellichick has spent this offseason trying to reassemble what was arguable the most dominant offense the Patriots ever put on the field, the 2010-2014 "12" Personal. With the roles of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez being filled by Belichick's #1 targets in the offseason, Tight Ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. If there one thing Bill Belichick is great at, it's spite, and that what this offseason has looked like to me.
Make no mistake; this team may belong to Cam Newton now.
But sooner rather than later...Where we're going, we don't need...Cam.