Gov. Charlie Baker sees something he likes in New England Patriots first-round draft pick Mac Jones, and it reminds him of another quarterback in the team’s not-so-distant past.
Asked about Jones during a press conference Friday morning, the Massachusetts governor and avid Patriots fans said he was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Alabama quarterback had fallen to the 15th pick when he tuned into the NFL draft after watching the Boston Bruins game Thursday night.
“The thing I admire the most about this selection and about the fit with the Patriot is Mac Jones has kind of the same story that Tom Brady had coming out of high school and college, and that story is constantly being underestimated and, in many respects, disrespected,” Baker said.
“And I think one of the things that we learned from Tom Brady over the years was there’s nothing quite like somebody who always feels like they have something to prove,” continued Baker, who has seen Brady bring home three Super Bowls to Massachusetts (and one to Tampa) during his six years as governor.
The 43-year-old Brady, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason, says he is still motivated by early doubters.
“Mac Jones is clearly that kind of a player,” Baker said Thursday.
The governor is hardly the only one to draw parallels between the two quarterbacks; NFL draft analysts have repeatedly compared Jones to a young Brady, who New England took in the sixth round of the 2000 draft and went on to win a total of seven Super Bowls. ESPN’s longtime draft expert Mel Kiper said that the 6-foot-3 Jones is similarly a tall pocket-passer with “pinpoint” accuracy (in the past, Jones himself has even jokingly likened his physique to Brady’s now-infamous Scouting Combine photo).
Jones also comes off a national championship-winning season at Alabama. Baker said Thursday that the 22-year-old’s performance was “mind boggling.”
“I can’t remember the exact numbers, but it was something like 4,000 yards, 40 touchdowns, a 77% completion percentage on a team that admittedly had seven people who were selected in the first round yesterday,” he said.
(In fact, Jones threw for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns, and completed 77.4 percent of his passes, and Alabama only had six players go in the first round, which does still tie an all-time record.)
“I also love the fact that he played for Nick Saban, who’s obviously a very similar kind of coach to (Bill) Belichick in the first place,” Baker said. “I think the opportunity for Mac Jones and Cam Newton to work together and to figure out how to help each of them succeed and to help the team succeed is going to be great.”
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