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Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

NFL Draft analyst compares Mac Jones to Tom Brady, projects New England Patriots to pick Jones at No. 15 overall

Mac Jones tosses pass of the middle against Texas A&M
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics/SEC Media Portal

Could Bill Belichick have the second coming of Tom Brady in this NFL Draft class?

Of the quarterbacks entering the venue, one draft analyst recognizes one player that resembles the six-time Super Bowl champion and future first-ballot Hall of Famer. On Wednesday, Mel Kiper Jr. spoke with Sage Steele of ESPN and said Mac Jones reminds him the most of Brady.

Kiper has five signal-callers going in the first round and at the 15th overall pick, the long-time draft evaluator projects the New England Patriots to take Jones. When he was asked why he felt that way, Kiper’s response was ‘just a gut feeling. You have to think about the Belichick-Nick Saban connection.’

YouTube video

*Kiper explains why he has Mac Jones to the Patriots at the 2:30 mark

“You think about Tom Brady and what he brought to the table in terms of his accuracy at all levels,” Kiper said. “He was not mobile. Obviously, Mac is a great athlete. He’s got a little speed and quickness, but that’s Mac Jones.”

Kiper raved about the accuracy Brady showcased at the University of Michigan. The concern he has on Jones is the 2020 College Football Playoff National Champion having just 17 career starts.

However, the native Floridian played his best versus elite competition in the Southeastern Conference and during the postseason.

He dominated the likes of Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. Jones finished last season with 4,500 passing yards and 41 touchdowns to four interceptions.

RELATED: Mac Jones is impressing in Mobile during Senior Bowl practice

He impressed pro scouts and evaluators in Wednesday’s practice at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Brady and Jones share a similar journey.

Neither of the two was highly recruited out of high school. Both started collegiate careers as backups and then had to fight to either start or keep the starting job. When he got to the Wolverines, Brady was behind Scott Dreisbach, Brian Griese, Jason Carr, and Scott Loeffler among others. He started in 1997 as a junior, but Brady had to fend off the talented Drew Henson in his final two seasons. Jones backed up Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa in 2017 and 2018.

He filled in for an injured Tagovailoa in 2019 and started four games. Before the beginning of the 2020 campaign, a lot of people felt that Bryce Young should be the starter. As talented as the freshman was, Jones was able to fend him off and produce the best single-season for an Alabama quarterback. For the first time since 2002, the Patriots missed the NFL playoffs under Belichick.

He lost Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the 43-year-old is going after his seventh Super Bowl ring.

RELATED: DeVonta Smith and Tua Tagovailoa have discussed a possible reunion in Miami

Belichick never wanted to come off Jimmy Garoppolo; however, Robert Kraft (Patriots’ owner) forced his hand to trade him to San Francisco during the middle of the 2017 season in October. New England has not had a first-round pick in a while, and this is an opportunity for Belichick to recapture the essence of Brady.

Will he and the Patriots roll the dice on Jones at No. 15 overall?

New England is one of 11 teams that have quarterback listed as a need.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith

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