AFC East coach gives measured take on Patriots drafting Mac Jones

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AFC East coach gives measured take on Pats drafting Mac Jones originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots offense will look a lot different in 2021 in terms of which players are going to be on the field, and one of the most notable changes could be at quarterback.

The Patriots recently drafted a QB in the first round for the first time in Bill Belichick's 21-year tenure as the team's head coach. Alabama star Mac Jones was selected with the No. 15 overall pick. He was the fifth and final quarterback taken in Round 1.

Perry: Will Pats' lack of skill position speed anchor Mac Jones?

How will Jones fit into the offense? Here is one anonymous coach from an AFC East division rival's take on the situation, via NFL Media's Mike Giardi:

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Belichick noted after drafting Jones that veteran Cam Newton is still the team's starting quarterback, and that someone would have to play better than the former league MVP for a switch to be made.

Patriots Talk Podcast: Matt Cassel on the Mac Jones vs. Cam Newton quarterback competition | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

It's not crazy to suggest that Jones could start Week 1 or early in the season. He was labeled as one of the most NFL-ready offensive players in the 2021 draft class thanks to, among other things, his throwing accuracy and high football IQ. Jones also was well-coached at Alabama by Nick Saban.

The Patriots will be able to surround whoever starts at quarterback with more talent on offense than they did in 2020.

The offseason additions of wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, and tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, have bolstered the quality of the passing attack. New England's offensive line also should be one of the league's best after trading for offensive tackle Trent Brown, re-signing center David Andrews and signing center Ted Karras.

Jones might not start at QB to begin the season, but he should give Newton plenty of competition for the role, and that would create an exciting training camp and preseason.