Mac Jones Voted NFL 2021 OROY over Ja'Marr Chase by Execs: 'Poised Beyond His Years'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 23, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 18: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones climbed to the head of the rookie class in the eyes of NFL executives.

A group of 23 team officials gave Jones 11 votes for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award in a poll conducted by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase was second with nine votes.

"He's poised beyond his years," an AFC executive of Jones. "He has less 'rookie moments' than the others but really processes quickly within their offense, moves the team. He plays in rhythm, doesn't turn over the ball too much. He just plays like a vet.

Jones is an outlier among his fellow first-round signal-callers so far.

Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Justin Fields have struggled in their starting roles, and the San Francisco 49ers are taking a gradual approach with Trey Lance. Other than Jones, there wasn't another QB who received a single vote for Offensive ROY in Pelissero's poll.

The lowest drafted among the five, Jones has thrown for 3,168 yards, 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 69.0 percent of his passes in 14 starts. While the 15th overall pick out of Alabama hasn't been a revelation, he has arguably exceeded expectations.

At the moment, Jones is the runaway betting favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He's -700 at DraftKings Sportsbook (bet $700 to win $100) with Chase (+400; bet $100 to win $400) second on the list. It's basically a two-horse race at this point considering Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is third at +6500.

Chase will have plenty of supporters arguing his case. The 21-year-old has hauled in 61 receptions for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns. He and Joe Burrow have picked up from where they left off at LSU in 2019.


Ja’Marr Chase: 6 REC TDs of 30+ yards<br><br>More than 25 NFL teams TOTAL 👀 <a href="https://t.co/tuthVyUtmJ">pic.twitter.com/tuthVyUtmJ</a>

But the NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and Jones will have a difficult resume to beat if the Patriots go on to remain in their current position to win the AFC East.

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