While Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are likely to be immediate starters, that’s probably not the case at this point for the other 2021 first-round picks at quarterback.
New England selected Mac Jones at No. 15 overall but have Cam Newton, who could, in theory, hold the starting job throughout 2021.
Still, head coach Bill Belichick said Friday that Jones is picking up the offense as the team goes through the offseason program.
“I think Mac has a pretty good understanding of the things that we do,” Belichick said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “He has to go out there and do them and get comfortable with them, so it’s a process. We’ve had a number of other players at that quarterback position come in and go through that. Some, it starts a little slower and then picks up. Sometimes it starts a little higher and slows down. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
“He’s working hard and he puts in a lot of time. Certainly giving his very best effort to do everything we’ve asked him to do and do it the way we’ve asked him to do it, which is a great place to start. He’s earned a lot of respect for that. But he has a long way to go. We’ll see how it goes.”
With Newton on the roster, Jones won’t have to play until he’s ready. The rookie signal-caller may be earning Belichick’s respect, but that’s far from earning the full-time role as QB1.