Cam Newton and Mac Jones do not have similar playing styles.
Still, NFL analyst Charlies Davis believes there are multiple things the Patriots’ 2021 first-round draft pick can learn from New England’s current starting quarterback.
It might take some time for Jones to adjust to the NFL level, as the incoming rookie was surrounded by elite talent in his lone season as Alabama’s starter. But Davis, as he explained Thursday on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft,” believes Newton can aid Jones with his transition.
“I think he can learn about the pocket, and manipulating things, and when to exit, and when to move, all of that,” Davis said, as transcribed by 247Sports. “Remember, Mac Jones played at Alabama probably behind the best offensive line in college football. I think Notre Dame would argue a little bit on that. But one of the best ones, so when he moved, it was usually of his own volition. What he?ll learn from Cam is, early in his career, Cam exiting quickly, using his athletic ability and going. Later in his career, staying in longer and understanding.
“Because of the speed at which college pass rushers come at you, that?s like the interstate here in the United States. In the NFL it?s more like the Autobahn. I mean they are roaring at you, and what Mac will learn and — when to exit, when to move, and use more of those slide steps in order to find open targets downfield as opposed to just taking off and going like Cam.”
It remains to be seen how much of a mentor Newton will be for Jones. While Bill Belichick hailed the 2015 NFL MVP as the Patriots’ QB1 after the first round of the draft, Jones likely will have a legitimate opportunity to compete for the gig this summer.