Saban details discussions he had with Belichick about Jones
Alabama head coach Nick Saban at right talks with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban details discussions he had with Bill Belichick about Mac Jones leading up to NFL draft

Alabama head coach Nick Saban and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick have always been close, so it really should come as no surprise that the latter selected former Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones in the 2021 draft. 

Leading up to the draft, Saban and Belichick had extensive conversations about Jones and his potential to succeed at the NFL level. During an appearance on ESPN Radio's Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show Thursday, Saban detailed those conversations he had with the longtime Patriots boss.

The Patriots named Jones their starter earlier this week after cutting veteran quarterback Cam Newton. 

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels discussed the decision to name Jones the starter on Wednesday, saying the rookie's improvement throughout the summer is part of the reason why he's comfortable with the Alabama product as QB1. 

The 15th overall pick impressed during the preseason, finishing 36-of-52 for 389 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions, playing 107 snaps. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the highest-graded preseason by a rookie quarterback since 2013.

The 22-year-old was the third quarterback in the first round of the 2021 draft to be named a starter in his first season, joining Trevor Lawrence (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (New York Jets).

New England opens the 2021 campaign against Tua Tagovailoa, Jones' former Alabama teammate, and the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 12 at Gillette Stadium. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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