The Patriots were lucky to land Mac Jones when they did, because the 2022 draft class lacks QB talent

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  • New England Patriots
    New England Patriots
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  • Mac Jones
    Mac Jones
    American football player

For so many reasons, the New England Patriots were lucky to land Mac Jones at 15th overall in the 2021 NFL draft. One of those reasons is that the 2022 NFL draft may underwhelm.

There will be a few quarterbacks that rise up the draft board for 2022. That simply always happens, with NFL teams needing quarterbacks and convincing themselves that a player is worth the risk, even if his draft grade doesn’t fit his draft position. But the 2022 draft class, for now, is shaping up to be unimpressive, by the estimation of most NFL draft analysts.

Touchdown Wire’s mock draft, for example, doesn’t have a quarterback going until 16th overall where the Pittsburgh Steelers were projected to take Ole Miss’ Matt Corral. Draft Wire’s Luke Easterling, meanwhile, projected Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman to fall to Washington at No. 9 — but then Easterling opened his analysis on the pick by writing “none of this year’s quarterback prospects are terribly inspiring.”

Surely, the Patriots can feel good about that. Of course, coach and general manager Bill Belichick will be the first to tell you he won’t be reading any mock drafts. But you can bet his scouting department is seeing, roughly, what the rest of the draft community is seeing: a quarterback pool that lacks top-end talent. With New England set at the position for the next few years, Belichick has proven, yet again, he has a unique knack for timing and team-building.

The Patriots drafted Jones 15th overall and the quarterback has a shot to finish as the Offensive Rookie of the Year. It’s always a great sign when a franchise drafts a quarterback who appears to be their future starter — at least for the terms of his rookie contract. But it’s also a happy coincidence for New England that, had they not landed Jones and stuck with quarterback Cam Newton, it might have been looking at an unimpressive draft class.

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