Patriots Draft ‘Next Devin Hester’ With Crazy Highlight Reel

Getty Marcus Jones

Speed kills. That’s a sentiment the New England Patriots finally seem to have embraced. A selection after tabbing the “fastest receiver” in the 2002 NFL Draft in Baylor’s Tyquan Thornton, Bill Belichick and Co. took another speed merchant in the third round.

With the 85th pick in the draft, New England selected cornerback and electric kick/punt returner Marcus Jones out of Houston. It seems New England has had their eye on the state of Texas this past college football season.

At 5’8″, Jones seems to be destined to play nickel corner, but ultimately his ability as a return man is probably what landed him in a Patriots uniform. In college, he had nine return touchdowns between Troy and Houston.

When it comes to positive pro comparisons, Jones has received two of the best anyone of his talents could receive.

Marcus Jones Compared to Devin Hester

Sports Illustrated Scott Knudsen wrote about Jones’ potential fit with the Dallas Cowboys. While Jones didn’t remain in the Lonestar state, Knudsen’s commentary is noteworthy because of who the latter says talent evaluators have compared the speedy former Cougar to in pre-draft assessments.

Some draft experts are tabbing him “the next Devin Hester,” Knudsen wrote. “Yes, that sound was the emergency brake being engaged. That’s some high praise for a Houston Cougar most have never heard of. The tape has been spun, and the analysis is thorough. Some draft experts suggest that he might be a third-round pick.”

Those “draft experts” were on the money with their projection for where Jones would be selected. Could they be right about his potential as a return man? The Patriots hope so and they should also love what is being said about him as a cover corner, despite his smallish frame.

“This seems to be a very instinctive and determined football player packed into a slight 5-8, 175-pound frame – which maybe makes him a slot corner,” Knudsen wrote. “He’s a tenacious cornerback with ball skills … but it’s the other side of the bird solidifying the overall appeal. The young man is a return aficionado, and the Cowboys could benefit greatly from this skill set.”

From a statistical standpoint, few filled the box score like Jones in college. In 2021, he had 36 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 kickoff return TDs, 1 punt return TD, 10 receptions for 109 yards for a TD, and 2 rushing attempts.

While Thornton’s ability as a game-breaking wide receiver might be intriguing, Jones’ potential as a return man capable of dramatically improving the Patriots’ field position might be even more exciting for New England fans.

Bleacher Report draft expert Connor Rogers called Jones “one of the best returners” he’s ever seen.

As if the Hester comparison and Rogers’ endorsement weren’t enough to excite Patriots fans,’s Lance Zierlein dropped another golden name in the return game.

Could Jones Be a Two-Way Player?

Zierlein’s primary pro comp for Jones is former Kansas City Chiefs legend, Dante Hall. Over the past 25 years, no two return men have had a bigger impact than Hall and Hester. If Jones can approach their level in that aspect, he may never have to defend a single pass to make himself well worth a third-round selection.

Jones’ potential might not be limited to return duties and nickel corner play. Zierlein also believes there is a chance Bill Belichick will play Jones as a receiver.

Is it possible Belichick has added a player he envisions as the next dynamic performer from the slot? The more fans hear and watch Jones the more they’re likely to be anxiously awaiting his debut.

Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Patriots-related breaking news, rumors, content, and more!



Read More