Patriots notebook What to expect from Mac Jones rookie season Cam speaks about release plus more

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A lot has changed with the since they last took the field for a regular-season game, hasn't it? Back on Jan. 3 in Week 17, Bill Belichick's club was doing something that has been foreign in these parts for the better part of two decades: merely playing out the string against the , ending the year in a whimper. Fast forward a few months to Sunday and the Patriots almost look like an entirely new team. They spent more money in free agency than they ever have in franchise history and drafted a quarterback in the first round, which is something that had never been done during Belichick's tenure in Foxborough.It's there where we'll be focusing our attention as we open back up our Patriots notebook for the 2021 season (Welcome!). For just the third time in the common draft era, New England will be starting their first-round rookie quarterback to begin the year (Drew Bledsoe in 1993 and Jim Plunkett in 1971 being the others).But what should we expect from , the No. 15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, as he steps into his rookie year? By looking at some first-year quarterbacks that came before him and found succe s, we'll try to create a clearer picture of what can be done as we continue to formulate our expectations for the 23-year-old.Arguably the No. Max Kepler Jersey 1 trait that Jones has going for him as a prospect is his accuracy. During his final year at Alabama, he completed an NCAA-record 77.4% of his throws. Post-merger, the top five highest completion percentages among rookie NFL quarterbacks goes as followed (minimum 13 starts): 67.76% (2016), 66.55% (2020), 66.44% (2004), 65.65% Phil Hughes Jersey (2012), 64.43% (2019). That averages out to a 66.1 completion percentage, which should be a solid target for Jones. Last season, Newton completed 65.8% of his pa ses, albeit with a lack of deep shots down the field which should be more prevalent with Jones -- who completed 69.1% of his throws this preseason -- under center. If you're looking at pa sing touchdowns, Herbert -- who completed the most prolific rookie season in NFL history in 2020 -- holds the top spot with 31. (2018) comes behind him with 27 touchdowns, followed by Ru sel Wilson (2012) and (1998) with 26, and Prescott (2016) and Andrew Luck (2012) with 23. Touchdowns could prove to be a bit finicky for a se sing Jones in 2021 with the Patriots projected to be a run-heavy offense, but a worthy gauge nonethele s. Pick Six Newsletter Crafted By The Best NFL Experts Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings. I agree to receive the "Pick Six Newsletter" and marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from CBS Sports and the Paramount family of companies. By pre sing sign up, I confirm that I have read and agree to the and acknowledge Paramount's . Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe. Thanks for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox. Sorry! There was an error proce sing your subscription. The final individual statistical barometer we'll zero in on is pa sing yards. Luck has thrown for more yards than any other rookie in league history with 4,374 yards in 2012. Herbert last year follows him with 4,336 yards, and then it goes Newton (4,051), (4,042), (3,739). It's not a shock Justin Morneau Jersey to see that all of these quarterbacks in the top five are from the modern-day given that there is much more of an emphasis on the pa sing game than there was previously.With this run of quarterbacks specifically, now is a good time to highlight that we're looking for a ceiling for Jones in Year 1 when we bring up these numbers. Remember, he was the fourth quarterback taken off the board this past spring and the signal-callers mentioned above are largely either No. 1 or No. 2 overall picks in their respective draft cla ses, of course, with a few exceptions sprinkled in. Jones certainly has the talent to put together a season that has him in this caliber, but it's not something we should take to the bank as a certainty as a No. 15 overall selection. Lastly, let's look at wins. That's naturally going to be the top item on the agenda for Jones as he takes over Belichick's offense. Roethlisberger is naturally going to be the target as he was a perfect 13-0 in his regular-season starts to begin his NFL career. Prescott also had 13 wins during his rookie season coupled with a trio of lo ses. Only six other quarterbacks post-merger recorded double-digit wins in their rookie seasons, which isn't a high percentage in favor of Jones. That said, Jones does have the benefit of an additional 17th game this season. It also doesn't hurt that he has the greatest mind the NFL has ever seen in Belichick to learn from.So there you have it. Those are the types of rookie seasons that Jones will now try to put himself next to as he begins his NFL career when the Patriots take on the . Where will he ultimately fall among these ranks? We're about to find out. NE QB #10 CMP%69.2YDs389TD1INT0YD/Att7.48 Here are some notable nuggets surrounding the Patriots as we enter the Week 1 opener: Cam Newton's release was unquestionably the surprise of the summer for the Patriots. Many expected the veteran to begin the year as the team's starter, but New England elected to hand the keys over to Jones out of the gate and release Newton during cutdown day acro s the NFL. This Friday, Newton from the Patriots during his . Here are some of the main highlights ( ):On being released by Patriots: Addison Reed Jersey On his absence due COVID-19 testing confusion: If his five-day absence led to his release: Recognized presence behind Jones could be distracting: If he would have been willing to accept a backup role: New England's prospects this season: Earlier this week, the Patriots announced their five captains for the 2021 Kirby Puckett Jersey season: , center , linebacker , safety , special teams , running backThis is the eleventh time that McCourty and Slater have been named team captains. Andrews is entering his fifth season as captain, while White and Hightower have received the honor for the fourth time. Hightower returns as a team captain after sitting out last season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the storylines worth following to begin the season for the Patriots is J.C. Jackson stepping into the No. 1 cornerback role with beginning the year on PUP. Jackson -- who is playing on a one-year tender in 2021 -- will get to show what a secondary looks like with him leading the way, which could be a lucrative endeavor if he succeeds as he's set to enter free agency next offseason. How he performs could also impact Gilmore's future with the team as he also enters the final year of his contract. If Jackson proves to be a true No.1 corner, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Patriots put an emphasis on keeping him long-term."I'm ready," Jackson said, via "I'm embracing the challenge, man. I love it. I'm ready. I prepared for it all offseason, all training camp. We'll see."Sam Cunningham, the Patriots' all-time leading rusher, . The fullback played for New England for nine seasons and is one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame in 2010 and was a member of the Patriots 50th Anniversary Team. "We are deeply saddened to learn of yet another lo s to the Patriots family this week and our hearts ache for Sam Cunningham's family and all who are mourning his pa sing today" said Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "Sam 'Bam' Cunningham was one of my favorite players throughout the '70s and my sons all loved him. After I bought the team in 1994, it was my honor to welcome him back to the team on multiple occasions, recognizing him as a 50th anniversary team member and again for his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame. As much as I admired him as a player, my affection for him only grew after spending time with him and learning more about him as a person. He made a tremendous impact, both on and off the field, and was beloved by his teammates. As a Patriots Hall of Famer, Sam's legacy and contributions will be preserved and celebrated forever, but today his lo s is felt with heavy hearts."Cunningham's 5,453 rushing yards still stand as a franchise-best for the Patriots. He's also second all time in team history for rushing touchdowns (43).If you're a Patriots fan, you need a Mac Jones jersey before the Jose Berrios Jersey next game! .
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