Out of all rookie quarterbacks entering the NFL in 2021, Mac Jones walks in the best possible situation with the New England Patriots.
The 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft walks into the most stable organization in football, a team that has a winning culture and a history of success. Head coach Bill Belichick has ran the show for 21 years, while offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has commanded the offense for 13 of the last 16 seasons.
At 7-9 last year, the Patriots had the best record of any team that drafted a first-round quarterback. The 2020 season was the first time they had not had a winning record in 21 years. Ok, there was the small matter of having Tom Brady under center during that time, but Matt Cassel did guide the offense for one season.
The Patriots have spent a ton of money in free agency to freshen up their units on both sides of the ball, and defensive linchpin Dont’a Hightower returns from an opt-out season. Mac Jones' team is going to be better than the group of players Cam Newton led into Foxborough last season.
Yet, historically, the odds remain stacked against owner Robert Kraft and coach Belichick, lifting the Vince Lombardi trophy with rookie quarterback Mac Jones at the helm. Here's why the Patriots will need to rewrite history in order to claim a seventh Super Bowl title.
Can Mac Jones defy the odds and lead the Patriots to Super Bowl glory?
Not only has no rookie quarterback ever won a Super Bowl, but no rookie quarterback has ever made it to a Super Bowl.
The closest a first-year passer has ever gone to the big game, is falling one hurdle short, with Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets' Mark Sanchez taking their teams to either the AFC or NFC Championship game.
Following a year of development, sophomore QB Tom Brady guided the Patriots to lift the Super Bowl in 2001 in his first year as a starter. Brady took control of the Patriots offense after Drew Blesdoe was injured in Week 3. Brady's opponent in Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner, helped the Rams' "Greatest Team of Turf" offense to Super Bowl glory in 1999 in his first season as an NFL starter.
Neither were true rookies though. Since 1983, only 13 rookie quarterbacks who have started seven or more games have made the playoffs. If Mac Jones were to join the list, he would be in esteemed company alongside the likes of Miami Dolphins icon Dan Marino, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson.
Were he to run out at Super Bowl LVI in Inglewood, California in February 2022, Mac Jones would stand head and shoulders above every rookie quarterback that has ever suited up in the NFL.