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Mac Jones of the New England Patriots warms up prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. | Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images.

Mac Jones Needs Work On 1 Part of His Game That Has Nothing To Do With His Football Skills, Says Kyle Van Noy

Quarterback Mac Jones passed the test. The 2021 New England Patriots first-round draft pick arrived from Alabama with some weight on his shoulders. Bill Belichick needed a quarterback to run the offense after missing the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.

With Tom Bradly bolting town for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Pats put the offense in the hands of veteran quarterback Cam Newton for the 2020 season. It wasn’t pretty.

After going 7-9, New England grabbed Jones with the 15th overall pick after four other quarterbacks were taken. The Patriots released Newton before the end of camp, putting Jones in charge. Just as he did at Alabama, Jones showed tremendous poise on the field. He overcame a rocky start and put together a seven-game win streak to get them back into the playoffs.

While most Patriots fans were on board with the Jones draft pick, the same can’t be said about New England’s top pick in 2022. Many eyebrows were raised when New England selected Cole Strange, a guard from Chattanooga who many projected to last until the third round. With the second pick, Belichick again reached with speedy wide receiver Tyquan Thornton from Baylor. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper was down on the Patriots draft, giving them a C+.

“Are we allowed to question a draft from Bill Belichick? The Patriots haven’t exactly lit it up over the past few Aprils, though the Mac Jones pick from 2021 appears to be a hit,” Kiper wrote. “I just don’t think they got value with their first two picks this year.”

Last year, the Patriots went on a surprising free-agent spree. They have been relatively quiet this year. Their most significant move was a trade for wide receiver DeVante Parker. Their AFC East counterparts, however, made some noise. The Miami Dolphins added wide receiver Tyreek Hill, and the Buffalo Bills improved their defense with the addition of Von Miller.

Even if Jones avoids the sophomore slump, the Patriots should be a borderline playoff team at best.

2022 New England Patriots Schedule

1@ Miami DolphinsSunday, Sept. 111:00 p.m. ETCBS
2@ Pittsburgh SteelersSunday, Sept. 181:00 p.m. ETCBS
3vs. Baltimore RavensSunday, Sept. 251:00 p.m. ETFOX
4@ Green Bay PackersSunday, Oct. 24:25 p.m. ETCBS
5vs. Detroit LionsSunday, Oct. 91:00 p.m. ETFOX
6@ Cleveland BrownsSunday, Oct. 161:00 p.m. ETCBS
7vs. Chicago BearsMonday, Oct. 248:15 p.m. ETESPN
8@ New York JetsSunday, Oct. 301:00 p.m. ETCBS
9vs. Indianapolis ColtsSunday, Nov. 61:00 p.m. ETCBS
10Bye WeekN/AN/AN/A
11vs. New York JetsSunday, Nov. 201:00 p.m. ETCBS
12@ Minnesota VikingsThursday, Nov. 248:20 p.m. ETNBC
13vs. Buffalo BillsThursday, Dec. 18:15 p.m. ETPrime Video
14@ Arizona CardinalsMonday, Dec. 128:15 p.m. ETESPN
15@ Las Vegas RaidersSunday, Dec. 188:20 p.m. ETNBC
16vs. Cincinnati BengalsSaturday, Dec. 241:00 p.m. ETCBS
17vs. Miami DolphinsSunday, Jan. 11:00 p.m. ETCBS
18@ Buffalo BillsTBDTBDTBD

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