FOXBORO, Mass. — Quarterback Mac Jones is just a rookie, but it sounds like the first-round pick has already taken on a leadership role among New England Patriots first-year players.
Patriots rookie wide receiver Tre Nixon listed Jones among the coaches and peers helping him catch up to speed on New England’s playbook. Nixon, a seventh-round pick out of UCF, said he and Jones have a “good connection” so far.
“Me and him, we help each other study,” Nixon said. “We lean on each other when times get hard. It?s just kind of like with everyone else, the other quarterbacks too. (Brian) Hoyer, (Jarrett) Stidham, Cam (Newton), you look to the quarterbacks to help you with play calls and just getting integrated into the system.”
Nixon appears to be a quick learner so far. He caught two passes during 7-on-7 drills Thursday at OTAs and has been among the Patriots’ skill position players catching punts during special teams drills.
Nixon missed some time early in OTAs with an injury but recovered quickly.
“With the teammates and coaches I have, the veterans, Mac, Cam, Stidham, I feel like they?ve done a really good job with helping me catch up to speed, because one of the biggest things they say is you don?t want to get left behind,” Nixon said. “So, I?ve got to stay ahead, and guys are doing a good job pushing me and getting all of the knowledge I can.”
Nixon is competing for a roster spot with fellow wide receivers Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Gunner Olszewski (all thought to be roster locks), N’Keal Harry, Isaiah Zuber, Kristian Wilkerson, Devin Smith and Marvin Hall. Nixon’s stiffest competition comes from Harry and Zuber, but the rookie’s speed has him jumping off the practice field in unpadded and non-contact sessions.