In the span of three months, Mac Jones has gone from winning the national championship during a global pandemic to being selected by the Patriots as the No. 15 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
The 22-year-old, a redshirt junior who was a 2020 Heisman Trophy finalist, still had two seasons of eligibility left given the additional year that the NCAA added across all college athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting, threw for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns with four interceptions and a 77.4 completion percentage.
During the national championship in January, Jones tallied 464 passing yards and five touchdowns, shredding the Buckeyes’ defense in a 52-24 victory.
Although the Patriots spent a substantial amount during free agency, they were quick to pick Jones at their first chance. The franchise finished 7-9 last season with quarterback Cam Newton at the helm after losing Tom Brady to Tampa Bay.
Jones’s name consistently remained in the top five during draft conversations. On Wednesday, San Francisco had reportedly narrowed its decision to the Alabama quarterback, Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“As much as the 49ers love Mac Jones, and they do, I believe that the gap between Mac Jones and the other QBs like Trey Lance has been narrowed considerably,” Schefter said Wednesday. “I can tell you over the weekend they did not know who they were going to take.”
More NFL Draft Coverage: