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New England Patriots QB Mac Jones drawing rave reviews, expected to become 2022 captain

Matt Johnson

The New England Patriots believed they had something special when they selected Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL Draft. As the quarterback prepares for his second season, he is already proving the organization right.

Jones, the 15th overall pick in 2021, earned Pro Bowl and PFWA All-Rookie team honors last season. He won the Patriots’ starting job out of camp and then helped lead the team to the playoffs during an impressive rookie campaign.

  • Mac Jones stats (2021): 3,801 passing yards, 22-13 TD-INT, 92.5 QB rating, 67.5% completion rate

While New England liked what it saw from Jones in 2021, there was more anticipation for his second NFL season. He’d have a full spring to dedicate his preparation for the Patriots, elevating his mastery of the playbook and improving his skills.

Related: New England Patriots ‘ecstatic’ with Mac Jones preparation for 2022 season

After generating buzz from the organization before players reported for practice, Jones’ teammates are now buzzing about their quarterback.

Mike Reiss of ESPN wrote that Jones is in a position to become the Patriots’ team captain this season. While it’s pending a vote from the locker room at the conclusion of training camp, reviews from his teammates say everything.

“It’s just at another level now. He’s more comfortable, more confident. He knows what’s going on, and the muscle memory is there [from having gone through it] — OTAs, then camp, and the season. He’s just more locked in, more secure in his position.”

New England Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne on Mac Jones’ leadership

As Reiss notes, Jones would become just the third player in their second NFL season to become a Patriots’ captain in the 23 years Bill Belichick has served as head coach.

New England’s quarterback is making a strong impression on the receivers, spending extra time with them on routes and making sure everyone is executing.

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“He’s a young guy but he’s developed as a leader. That’s what this team needs. I’ve only been here a few weeks, but I still see it.”

DeVante Parker on Mac Jones, via ESPN

There certainly seems to be more questions about the Patriots’ coaching staff than quarterback this spring. While Jones is generating praise, there are reports of concern about the direction of the offense and inexperience with Joe Judge and Matt Patricia heavily involved on that side of the ball.

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Fortunately, a great quarterback can make up for plenty of play-calling issues. If Jones takes that next step forward, worries with the Patriots’ coaching staff will be an afterthought during the season.

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