he New England Patriots took a chance on Jack Jones in the 2022 NFL Draft but that move seems to be paying off even before the regular season has started.
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Jones started his career with USC but left the team due to academic issues and being arrested for breaking into a Panda Express. He later moved to Arizona State but also had issues including getting suspended after a fight in practice.
While at Arizona State, Jones had a famous head coach in Herm Edwards. Edwards told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that Jones landed in a good spot with the Patriots.
“It’s a good spot for him, as there will be people there to keep the thumb on him,” Edwards said. “I told him, ‘You’re at a place now where you have to check all the boxes.’ He’s been a handful, but he’s a good kid. Loves football. Loves competing. Once he’s in the building, on the field, he’s all about football now.”
Edwards only had good things to say about Jones’ ability on the field.
“He’s a very explosive athlete. Very competitive. He has pretty good ball skills, finding and turning and locating the ball,” Edwards said. “He has good anticipation. Sometimes his eyes get him in trouble, because he’s on a mission to intercept balls and he’ll guess a little bit. And weight-wise [177 pounds], you’d wish he’d be a little bit bigger. But he’s not afraid to tackle. He’ll throw his body at people.”
Is Jones a Steal?
While the regular season has yet to get underway, the hype around Jones continues to build.
Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine believes that Jones is already a steal.
“The Patriots don’t have to turn Jones into an All-Pro corner in Year 1,” Ballentine stated. “If he even becomes a starter, that’s a huge value for the fourth round.”
Jones looks like he has the potential to become a starter. At minicamp, he was lined up opposite of Jalen Mills. If this continues at training camp, Patriots fans should expect to see a steady dose of Jones.
How Important Will the Secondary Be in 2022?
The Patriots will need Jones and the entire secondary to step up this season. With the departure of J.C. Jackson, the entire unit will have a large role to fill. That’s likely a reason that New England drafted multiple cornerbacks in this past year’s draft.
Malcolm Butler was signed out of retirement to replace Jackson, but expecting him to fill that hole alone isn’t a smart idea. Butler is 32 years old and spent a year out of the game. How long will it take him to re-adjust to the speed of the game?
The Patriots will need players such as Jonathan Jones and Mills to also step up and perform at a high level in 2022. If they can add the rookie to that list, New England’s defense could be in a much better state than expected.
So Patriots fans should be excited to see what Jack Jones can do on the field in 2022.