BOSTON (CBS) — As a long-time college football analyst for CBS, Gary Danielson has seen some incredible quarterback play through his years. He’s also seen a lot of those incredible college quarterbacks turn into pretty good NFL quarterbacks, and he’s confident that Mac Jones will follow suit for the New England Patriots.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots drafted Jones with the 15th overall pick, the first quarterback that Belichick has ever used a first-round pick on. He’s got some pretty big shoes to fill as New England’s quarterback of the future, but Danielson believes that Jones is up to the challenge.READ MORE: Patriots Release Kicker Roberto Aguayo, Long Snapper Wes Farnsworth
Speaking with WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche, Danielson said that Jones has one particular trait that really endeared him to Belichick and company.
“Mac Jones is one of the more committed football players I’ve come across doing SEC football,” said Danielson. “I was lucky; I got to cover Drew Brees, Tom Brady at Michigan, Tua [Tagovailoa] and [Joe] Burrow. Mac has kept himself in that category because of his commitment to excellence. That’s why I think it’ll be a god fit, not only for Mac but for the Patriots. I know how they run their program there; the quarterback has to fit into the system, and Mac is very comfortable doing that.”
Jones has all the qualifications of a top tier quarterback, from his excellent decision making, his accuracy and, most important in Belichick’s system, his knack for taking care of the football. But that commitment to excellence adds another layer to who Mac Jones is as a quarterback that makes his fit in New England even better.READ MORE: WATCH: Tom Brady Once Again Is Not Afraid Of 'The Madden Curse'
“You were all lucky to have a guy like that in Tom Brady, who no matter how well he did, he was committed to coming back and being a better quarterback the next year,” said Danielson. “Fitting in to what his teammates need to do in order to win. Some years it was playing a running attack and taking a step back for the team, and some games it was him having to throw 50 times.
“That is where Mac is going to fit into the Patriots’ style and the players around him, and more importantly, why the coaches will feel comfortable with him. He can morph into the style that Bill thinks is best to win the game that week,” he said.
Danielson also pointed out that Jones could have gone to other programs and played right away, but he went to Alabama and was up to the challenge of fighting for a spot on the depth chart against Jalen Hurts and Tua before getting his chance in 2020.
“I’m not trying to say that he’s Brady, but Brady-esque. Brady took that challenge to go to Michigan with four or five quarterbacks … Brady had to earn it every day in practice. I saw it when Tom was doing that, and those are some of the same traits and personality that Mac brings to the table,” he said.MORE NEWS: Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes Revealed As Cover Athletes For 'Madden NFL 22'