Here is the first impression Mac Jones has made with the Patriots
The general scouting report on Mac Jones prior to the NFL Draft was that he had possibly the highest football IQ of any quarterback in the class without the elite skill set. It sounds like he has lived up to that reputation in his first camp with the New England Patriots.
Albert Breer of The MMQB wrote in his weekly column on Monday that Jones has come as advertised for the Patriots. He describes the No. 15 overall pick as “a heady field general, if somewhat limited physically.”
Jones lacks elite arm strength and isn’t really capable of making things happen with his feet. Bill Belichick knew that when he drafted him, however, and Breer noted that Jones has showcased his ability to process pre-snap reads and deliver the ball to the right spots. That level of awareness is what made him a Heisman Trophy candidate at Alabama.
The Patriots have only held 13 spring practices. Breer, who covered the team before he began working for Sports Illustrated, said Belichick does not hold any positional competitions at this point in the offseason. Any talk that Jones is pushing Newton for the starting job would be premature, though it sounds like he is off to a solid start.
Belichick seems determined to have Newton under center in Week 1. Some of that has to do with the belief within the organization that Newton did not get a fair shot in 2020, as the offseason was shortened due to the pandemic and New England had a poor set of skill position players. Belichick also probably does not want to start a rookie at QB, but Jones could force his hand if he continues to play well and Newton does not show significant improvement over last year.