Devin McCourty: Mac Jones is used to being a leader

Patriots tackle Trent Brown said last week that he thinks rookie quarterback Mac Jones is “going to be special here in the future,” which is both a good review and a reference to a question that will continue to be a dominant storyline in New England this summer.

When will Jones go from being the quarterback of the future to being the quarterback of the present? Cam Newton‘s the no. 1 quarterback for the Patriots heading into camp, but no one’s ruling out a change in the way the depth chart is stacked up should Jones look like a better option this summer.

If he does, his experience at Alabama may play a big role. Veteran Patriots safety Devin McCourty said his young teammate “seemed poised” throughout the spring and that he doesn’t think leading a professional team as a rookie will be too much for the first-round pick.

“That’s a different position being a young guy, because you’re automatically in that leadership role,” McCourty said, via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. “But I think he’s used to that.”

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick stressed that the offseason program is a time for teaching and that camp and the preseason will be a time for evaluation. That will help answer the question of when Jones might get a chance to prove McCourty right about his ability to lead.