New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones took part in just his third full-team practice Thursday, and the Alabama product didn’t look out of place.
For a rookie — even a first-round pick like Jones — that’s a good start. And Jones actually has caught one of his new teammates, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, off guard.
“Mac, good energy. Awesome guy, man,” Bourne said. “You can tell he’s happy to be here. Comes to work and you just can feel his energy and his leadership already. He has a swag to him that I didn’t know that he had at first. He’s out there confident and that’s what you need in a quarterback, and in all our players. You’ve gotta have confidence.
“He’s come in with that and I think that’s going to take him a long way. If you can believe in yourself in all times, for any player, you’ll have success anywhere you are. So I can just see the confidence.”
It’s impressive that Jones is showing swagger despite the fact that he’s wearing No. 50 at practice. In a now annual tradition, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has rookies don numbers in the 50s and 60s as a way to show them they still have something to earn.
Jones went 2-of-3 in 7-on-7 drills Thursday. His only incompletion was on the mark but dropped by wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson. Jones worked behind starter Cam Newton and ahead of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in 7-on-7 drills (though it’s possible the QBs took different turns during Monday and Tuesday’s closed OTAs). When quarterbacks split off, Newton and Jones took turns with Stidham and Hoyer working on a separate part of the field.
Bourne was similarly impressed by Newton.
“Energy is amazing, man,” Bourne said. “A workhorse. He just knows how to keep the game fun. He knows when to turn it on and he knows when to turn it off and stuff like that. It’s just awesome to be around a guy that kinda matches energy like me. Whenever I get down or something, he’s there to pick me up. He’s that kinda guy. And when I do good he’s there too to push me and motivate me at the same time. So he’s just all-around a great teammate.”
Bourne wasn’t asked specifically about Stidham or Hoyer.