We're only two weeks into the 2021 NFL season, but former NFL MVP Boomer Esiason already thinks that a different player would go No. 1 overall in a re-draft of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Esiason was asked who would be the first selection in a recent appearance on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." His choice would be the quarterback the Patriots selected 15th overall.
“Well, I think Mac Jones would be [the No. 1 pick]," Esiason said. "I think everybody sees that."
Jones has certainly had the most success of the rookie quarterbacks so far. The Alabama product is the only one to win a game in which he started — he sports a 1-1 record — and his adjusted completion percentage of 84.4 is tied for the third-best among quarterbacks with more than one pass attempt, per Pro Football Focus.
Here's how Jones' numbers stack up against the other four first-round quarterbacks.
|Player||Comp. %||Passing yards||Pass TDs||Interceptions|
That said, this is only a two-game sample size for Jones. And as Esiason acknowledged, he is in the best situation of any of the rookie quarterbacks, as he was able to win the starting job and is surrounded by a strong supporting cast and coaching staff.
“He’s in the perfect offense," Esiason said of Jones. "But again, you have to remember that Jacksonville is starting over. The Jets are starting over. Trey Lance is sitting on the bench just waiting for Jimmy Garoppolo to go down eventually. So, I think in the situation these quarterbacks find themselves in, Mac is in the best situation for a young quarterback to be supported by his team, by his coaching staff.”
So, those external factors are certainly having a positive influence on Jones' play.
Either way, it's far too early to legitimately be thinking about any mock re-draft of the 2021 NFL Draft. There are still 15 games left in the 2021 NFL season and neither Fields nor Lance has started for their teams yet. They could emerge as high-quality pros and both Lawrence and Wilson could improve as they get more playing time. Even if they don't, they still have years to figure things out. That should happen as the rosters around them improve.
Jones definitely deserves praise for being able to execute within the context of the Patriots' offense, but let's not get too ahead of ourselves. He isn't being asked to do too much, as evidenced by his 5.7-yard average depth of target and 6.8 yards per pass attempt. New England has just asked him to find the open man, which he is doing well.
However, that doesn't mean that Jones is the clear-cut No. 1 quarterback in this class. After all, Lawrence was considered one of the best quarterback prospects of all time coming into the draft, so bumping him out of the top spot for Jones seems premature.
Let's see what Jones and Co. can do for the rest of the season. He is definitely ahead of the pack pre-Week 3, but things can change rapidly in the NFL.
So, let's save the mock re-draft for after the season — or, better yet, years down the road.