1. Improve Pocket Poise
This might come as a shock to Patriots fans, but Jones’ pocket presence is both a positive and negative at this stage of his career. In a clean pocket, the former Alabama star showcases exemplary footwork to elude pressure and deliver the ball to his receivers.
When the pocket starts collapsing however, that’s when Jones’ deficiencies come to light, as he starts getting flustered and forces ill-advised throws into tight windows.
Mac Jones needs to learn how to adapt in a collapsing pocket.
That isn’t odd for gunslingers who’ve started just one year in college, and it bodes well for the rookie that some multi-year starters in the NFL still haven’t cracked those habits. After all, with proper coaching and his work ethic, Jones will exercise those demons in no time.
Whether that happens in time for the 22-year-old to supplant Newton as the de facto starter during training camp remains to be seen, but assuming he’s put in the work since being drafted, we have no reason to believe he hasn’t already made strides in this department.
Jones has strong footwork and mechanics, so he has the necessary foundation to enhance his pocket awareness. It’ll improve with more experience, but for now slowing the game down could prove to be the determining factor in New England’s QB competition.