Patriots

Patriots reportedly ‘ecstatic’ by Mac Jones in offseason workouts

But they're reportedly down on another former first-round pick.

Mac Jones Patriots
Mac Jones has the Patriots excited entering Year 2. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Mac Jones gave the Patriots plenty to be excited about during his rookie campaign. It appears that excitement has boiled over into the offseason.

The Patriots “sound ecstatic” over the quarterback’s dedication,The Athletic‘s Jeff Howe reported in a recent notebook column.

“Jones has spent long hours at Gillette Stadium, often beating the coaching staff into the building to get a jump-start on film study for the day,” Howe wrote. “He is also taking ownership of the offense, willing to vouch for plays and concepts that he likes and pump the brakes on the stuff that hasn’t worked.”

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Jones has commonly been pictured at the Patriots’ offseason workouts since they began in April. Prior to that, Jones led workouts with Patriots’ receivers down in Florida, which included new receiver DeVante Parker. Those workouts also seem to be encouraging the Patriots, according to Howe.

“New England veterans have been extremely encouraged with the team chemistry this offseason,” Howe wrote. “The free-agent additions have meshed well in the locker room, and there’s been a different vibe over the past month.”

One of the notable players not present at the Patriots’ workouts in Foxborough or Florida was receiver N’Keal Harry. The Patriots’ 2019 first-round pick has had a disappointing first three seasons to start his career, and not being present at workouts this offseason has him on thin ice, Howe wrote.

“Wide receiver N’Keal Harry didn’t do himself any favors by skipping the beginning of the voluntary offseason workout program,” Howe wrote. “The 2019 first-round pick has 57 career catches for 598 yards and four touchdowns, and the clock appears to be ticking on his time in New England. The feeling in Foxboro is it’s going to be difficult for him to improve upon those numbers by avoiding these team-building workouts.”

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Howe also reported that the Patriots’ additions at receiver this offseason (trading for Parker and drafting Tyquan Thornton in the second round) will make it difficult for Harry to make the roster and that he has very little trade value.

“Harry has no apparent trade value, barring a player-for-player swap with someone on an expiring contract who also needs a change of scenery,” Howe wrote.

“To make the team, Harry would likely need the best camp of his career and an injury ahead of him on the depth chart,” Howe added.

As the Patriots appear to be closing the book on one former first-round pick, their transferred excitement toward Jones seems to be reasonable. Jones led all rookie quarterbacks in several stats, including passing yards (3,801), passing touchdowns (22), and passer rating (92.5), which earned him second place in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting.

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