It’s not usual to see the New England Patriots take an offensive player in the first round of the NFL Draft. Hell, it’s even stranger to see them take a quarterback. The post-Tom Brady era didn’t get off to the best start, Robert Kraft is not the one to just sit and wait.
The scariest dynasty of the past two decades missed the playoffs last year with Cam Newton under center. And, even though he’s likely going to start next season as well, it’s clear that he’s not the long-term answer at Foxboro.
That’s why Bill Belichick set his sights on Alabama standout Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick. He could be a franchise quarterback in the making, but he’ll have to handle otherworldly pressure if he wants to make it in New England, according to Julian Edelman.
Julian Edelman Says Mac Jones Will Be Under A Lot Of Pressure
“He needs to have that eye,” Edelman said on Michael Irvin’s podcast, as quoted by ProFootballTalk. “He needs to have that confidence. (…) What are you going to do? This kid, it’s not easy playing in New England, especially after Tom Brady, if he gets the opportunity and beats out the other guy. This ain’t going to be easy. This town is tough. This town is mean. This town is blue-collar. Boston people, the New England people, they want winning. They’re used to that in all sports. The kid’s going to have a lot of pressure.”
Edelman sure knows one thing or two about succeeding in Foxboro. He was Tom Brady’s go-to guy in the playoffs more often than not and earned Belichick’s respect thanks to his work ethic and toughness. Now, it’ll be up to Mac Jones to live up to those standards:
“When you play on Bill teams, [first-round picks] are usually defensive ends,” Edelman added. “Those are usually corners. We usually have the 28th pick or something — we’re getting a defensive player. That’s how Bill builds a team. But if you come in and you’re a quarterback drafted by Bill Belichick, I mean, let’s go, buddy.”
There’s no denying that Jones has the talent and upside to become New England’s franchise cornerstone going forward. Then again, we’ve seen countless college stars crumble under pressure when they make it to the league.