Felger and Mazz

Matthew Judon gives candid answer on current Pats QB situation

Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe, or a new QB? Pats LB Matthew Judon doesn't care -- just score points.

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After having one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the New England Patriots will have a chance at a clean rebuild thanks to a whole new coaching staff, an abundance of cap space, expiring player contracts, and the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft.

While most fans would love to see the third pick used on a quarterback, with LSU's Jayden Daniels being the most likely candidate available at the third spot, the Patriots must first decide whether it's time to move on from Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe, or if they should draft Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to give the QBs a legitimate weapon.

Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Felger & Mazz on Radio Row, live from Super Bowl LVIII's festivities to discuss New England's current quarterback situation.

"Honestly, I don't care," Judon said in response to whether he could see Jones returning as the starting QB. "It sounds terrible, but I just want our offense to score points."

The Patriots offense struggled with that all season, scoring a league-low 236 points -- just 13.9 per game. While former head coach Bill Belichick ultimately chose to end the season with Bailey Zappe under center, it was Jones who was more efficient in scoring. After recent reports that claimed Jones' poor performance may not have been all his fault after being shunned by Belichick, a new coaching staff and a more consistent scheme could help return the Alabama product to the player fans started to believe in after his Pro Bowl rookie season.

"[I want] our offense to score points and sustain drives," Judon added. "Regardless of if that's Mac [Jones], Bailey [Zappe], somebody else -- I don't care. I think both Mac and Zappe have the talent to do it, they just have to do it -- that's going to be up to them."

Jones threw for just 2,120 yards and 10 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, resulting in his benching after the Patriots' 2-9 start. While Zappe didn't perform much better after taking over as the starter, throwing for 1,272 yards and six touchdowns with nine interceptions, the Patriots offense seemed rejuvenated and with more energy but still failed to sustain drives and score points.

Although many fans may be ready to move on from them both, it could be foolish to not let Jones -- who cost a first-round pick back in the 2021 NFL Draft -- have another go under a new head coach and a more consistent scheme. Patriots insiders previously reported that the constant change of offensive coordinators and schemes frustrated Jones, and the lack of support he had from his former coaching staff certainly didn't help. It would be more acceptable to move on from Zappe, who cost just a fourth-round pick in the 2022 draft.

"The offseason is a chance to get better and come back a different player," Judon said of New England's current quarterbacks. "I think they both can do it and they both have the skillset to do it, they just have to do it."

New England's front office has its work cut out for it this offseason. While many first-round quarterbacks haven't panned out in recent years, the Patriots will have to decide whether to take a gamble on a rookie QB or roll with who they have and bolster the talent around them. Reports currently have the Patriots considering either a quarterback, Harrison Jr., or even a left tackle out of Notre Dame, Joe Alt.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off on April 25 and will likely give fans the first glimpse of what direction the Patriots will go in next season.

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