The Patriots arrived at the NFL Draft with a lot on their plate. They had a lot of positions to fix and a limited amount of picks to fix them. The Patriots were going to have to stay focused on their needs and not get distracted by players falling on the board.
Luckily for the Pats, Belichick is very good at staying true to his beliefs and not letting outside noise distract him. A prime example of this was when the Patriots drafted Cole Strange, a guard from Chattanooga, on day one.
Belichick may have stayed true to his beliefs, but some fans were not pleased heading into day two. In order for the Patriots to turn the draft around, they were going to have to make every pick count.
After selecting Tyquan Thornton in the second round, the Patriots selected Marcus Jones, a versatile option.
<img class="lazyload" decoding="async" src="https://i0.wp.com/bdc2020.o0bc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Houston_Temple_Football_60584-626c9ff46f2ae-768x432.jpg?resize=768%2C432&ssl=1" alt="Patriots select Houston CB Marcus Jones in third round of 2022 NFL Draft" data-recalc-dims="1" />
Marcus Jones (via boston.com)
General Reaction To This Pick, Why Was It Made?
This selection pleased most Patriots fans. As surprisingly, Belichick drafted a fun, speedy player.
Beefing up the cornerback position was long overdue for the New England Patriots following JC Jackson’s departure. Even though Jones does not completely fill the large, gaping void formed by JC Jackson’s departure, he still solves a decent portion of the problem.
Unlike his Day one selection, Belichick did not reach too early in order to obtain the University of Houston cornerback. This reason alone is a cause for celebration seeing as the Patriots have had their fair share of over-valued Day one and Day two picks in the past.
Marcus Jones Accomplishments?
Jones was named all-state for being a powerful special-teams and defensive player as a senior in High School. Using these impressive feats, Jones was admitted to Troy University to play football. After winning multiple special teams-related awards at Troy, Jones then moved to the University of Houston.
Jones’ time in Houston was brief yet extremely productive. He was named a member of the All-American first team as a defensive back, AAC Special Teams Player of the Year, and most notably, he was given the Paul Hornung Award for being the most versatile player in the nation.
Where Could The Patriots Use Jones?
Any team in the NFL can use the versatility offered by Jones. For the Patriots, Jones could certainly see more snaps as a kick returner than anything. Jones could potentially be the replacement for now-Steeler, Gunner Olszewski.
Defensively speaking, Jones could see a decent amount of snaps at cornerback. However, those snaps at cornerback would likely be against smaller wide receivers, since Jones is only 5’8.
Who Could The Patriots Use Jones Against?
I’m sure Patriots fans remember the time when Myles Bryant got cooked alive by Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie in the 2021-2022 season. The Bills, who are the Patriots’ AFC East rivals, are not leaving anytime soon, and finding an effective match-up for McKenzie while still limiting Stefon Diggs could be the key to success against Buffalo. Obviously, this is much easier said than done, but it is still something that should at least be attempted.
Tyreek Hill, a tiny but remarkably fast wide receiver for the Dolphins is another candidate. I don’t suggest putting Jones on Hill for an entire game, since he still lacks adequate experience. After all, the Patriots don’t have many options to stunt Hill, and trying anything would not be the worst idea in the world.
I can already sense Marcus Jones is a fan favorite in Foxborough. Jones features reliability, swagger, and speed that is uncommon for someone of his frame. If Belichick uses Jones appropriately, Jones may be a valuable player to this team. I’m excited to see Jones display his skills, possibly starting on Day one.
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