Mel Kiper says Mac Jones would be the best quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft

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“Knowing what we know now, he would be No. 1.”

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. Photo AP/Steven Senne

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Catching Mac Jones 15th overall in last year’s draft is looking more and more like a boon for the New England Patriots.

It’s not just because Jones outplayed all his rookie counterparts in 2021 and helped lead New England to the playoffs (although that certainly wouldn’t hurt).

It’s also because they got Jones while the quarterback was still good.

Mel Kiper, ESPN NFL draft expert told reporters on a conference call Thursday that Jones, who made the NFL All-Rookie Team last season, would have gone higher in 2022 than he did last year.

“Mac probably would have outplayed all the quarterbacks,” Kiper said. “Knowing what we know now, he would be No. 1.”

Unlike last year’s quarterback class, which featured five top-15 picks, the 2022 class doesn’t have the same pedigree, with only Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett considered consensus first-round candidates. .

If Jones, who was a senior at Alabama in 2020, had stayed in school for one more season and put up similar numbers to his monster first year as a starter, it would have been hard to argue with Jones being the undisputed QB1 despite his parent lacks physical assets. Even without an elite arm, no quarterback in this year’s class would have been able to match that two-season production as a starter against elite competition.

Of course, if Jones had indeed gone that route, New England certainly wouldn’t have had a chance to draft him (even if they were to roll with Cam Newton or another rookie).

Thankfully, Jones dropped out of college after his stellar season, and poor draft picks from a few top-10 teams and a bit of luck last year gave the Patriots the chance to win him back.

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