Pro Football Focus has released its ranking of its top 25 NFL players under 25 years old. The number of New England Patriots players ranked on the list is the same as the the number of times the Buffalo Bills have won the Super Bowl: zero.
That's right, none.
Not even the best rookie quarterback in the NFL last season - Patriots quarterback Mac Jones - made the list. As a rookie, he passed for 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns at a 67.6-percent completion rate and 92.5 passer rating.
And he won't turn 24 until Sept. 5.
This continues a troubling trend of Patriots off-season bashing ranging from predictions of their worst season 21 years to one of their own Hall of Famers believing they'll wind up with fewer wins this season than the Las Vegas Raiders.
The snubbing of Jones is shocking, considering the 2021 NFL Draft's first overall selection Trevor Lawrence made the list at No. 21. Despite being a highly touted prospect Lawrence heavily disappointed as a rookie, passing for 3,641 yards but at a measly 59.6-completion rate with 12 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 71.9 passer rating.
While Lawrence admittedly had a shaky coaching situation that probed (ahem) into his production as a rookie, it's still an interesting take to rank Lawrence above Jones, who proved himself as a consistent quarterback.
It's likely that the anti-Jones propaganda stems from a widespread narrative that considered him a "system quarterback." While Jones felt like he had a condensed playbook as a rookie, he still consistently made pre-snap reads and adjustments that showed a strong grasp of NFL defenses.
Despite Jones being snubbed, one New England player did at least manage an honorable mention on PFF's list: offensive lineman Michael Onwenu. A sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, Onwenu earned a spot on the 2020 All-Rookie Team.
It's clear that with Tom Brady gone, the Patriots are facing an uphill climb in the national sports media narrative department. It remains to be seen whether Jones can lead the charge towards the 2022 New England squad changing that perception.