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Biggest questions after the 2021 NFL Draft: Did Bill Belichick want to draft Mac Jones?
As the 2021 NFL Draft concludes and undrafted free agents continue to sign with teams, a few storylines will linger from this weekend.
Will Kyle Shanahan ever admit that the San Francisco 49ers traded up targeting Mac Jones?
Will Justin Fields overcome the QB curse in Chicago?
Did Bill Belichick want to draft Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick?
Some questions could be answered this season.
Others, we may have to wait a bit longer.
Growing up in Massachusetts, I’ve been a bit spoiled with sports.
Okay, maybe a lot spoiled. The New England Patriots dynasty is something that we probably won’t see again for a very long time, if ever.
Yet, fans still aren’t satisfied with it.
After one losing season here in New England, many fans and media alike believe that Belichick and the Patriots are in a must-win situation.
Does this have anything to do with Tom Brady leaving in free agency for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Sure.
But it didn’t stop there.
Tom Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl title in his first season in Tampa Bay made Bill Belichick that much angrier.
Who was more important to the New England Patriots dynasty?
Brady or Belichick?
This question and topic has been talked about for over a year now, throughout New England and beyond. The topic isn’t going away either.
I’ve watched a lot of NFL drafts, as have we all. I’ve also witnessed a lot of happy GM’s and head coaches as they draft players they’ve had their eyes on for months, if not longer.
Bill Belichick seemed content with drafting Alabama QB Mac Jones. He seemed as if he was at a restaurant and didn’t know what to select so he just ordered whatever dish the waitress recommended.
It’s an okay dish, nothing special. Not bad but also not great.
That’s the vibe that I, and many others, received from Belichick after the pick was made.
After Jones was selected by the Patriots with the 15th overall pick in the first round, Bill Belichick spoke with the media via zoom.
“Mac was available there at our pick. He was a guy that we spent a lot of time with – Felt like that was the best pick at that time for us," Belichick said.
That sounds like a coach that just drafted his franchise quarterback, right?
Now, we all know that Belichick is not too keen with the media to begin with. So, the argument can be made that he just wasn’t thrilled about speaking to the media regardless of who he drafted.
In 2014, after the Patriots drafted Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round, Belichick met with the media to answer questions on the draft pick.
"We know what Tom’s age and contract situation is.” Belichick said. “I don’t think you want to have one quarterback on your team. I don’t think that’s responsible to the entire team or the organization."
Belichick had no problem admitting a need at the quarterback position back in 2014.
“Spent a little time with him (Garoppolo) this spring, he has a lot of qualities that we admire in a quarterback and a very productive player,” Belichick said.
The tone here is what I’m focusing on. In one player (Garoppolo), Belichick willingly praises him for his accuracy in college as well as openly stating that Tom Brady was getting up there in age and wanted a new contract.
As we now know, Belichick lost that bet as he was forced to trade Garoppolo and stick with the ageless Brady that kept on winning at the highest level.
In the second player (Mac Jones), Belichick doesn’t openly discuss the dire need at the quarterback position, when we all know there is a very real need at that position. He also doesn’t speak of Jones in the same light he did Garoppolo.
So, let’s revisit the question above – Did Bill Belichick want to draft Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick?
If Micah Parsons were on the board, would Jones still have been the pick at 15?
The New York Jets traded up to No. 14, ahead of the Patriots, to select USC IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker. Did they do this because they believed Belichick and the Patriots were targeting Vera-Tucker at No. 15?
We still don’t even know the real reason why Malcom Butler was benched in the Super Bowl.
We probably won’t get answers to these questions for a long time, if ever.
The takeaways, fallout, and stories from this draft will continue for weeks, months, and years. The quarterbacks in this draft class could give us stories to talk about for decades if things go right for one team and wrong for another.
The quarterback position has never been more important to a team. Everyone wants to find the next Patrick Mahomes.
Time will tell which team made the right call.
Some fans are impatient, as are team owners.
The clock is ticking.