The New England Patriots are doubling down in the secondary. With the 121st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick’s club has selected Arizona State cornerback Jack Jones. This is the second consecutive pick that the Patriots have taken a cornerback after they selected Marcus Jones out of Houston in the third round to wrap up Day 2 on Friday night.
Jones began his college career at USC, but left the program after two seasons and spent a year in JUCO at Moorpark College. He then transferred to Arizona State in 2019. Last season for the Sun Devils, he broke up six passes and had three interceptions, while forcing three fumbles. He also finished with 41 total tackles.
Things to know
Older prospect: Similar to New England’s first-round pick Cole Strange, Jones is an older prospect. He will enter the 2022 season as a 24-year-old.
Off-field issues: Jones does have some off-the-field concerns in his background as he makes this step into the NFL. Among them was a guilty plea to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of commercial burglary in October of 2018, stemming from Jones breaking into a Panda Express with two others. He served 45 days of house arrest with three years of informal probation for the offense.
Possible steal? Shrine Bowl director of football operations and player personnel Eric Galko calls New England’s selection of Jones a steal. He noted that Jones is one of the best pure man cover corners in this draft. If he lives up to that analysis, he should help a Patriots secondary that is still reeling from the loss of J.C. Jackson in free agency.
Rating: 74.83 (Chance to start)
Pro Comparison: Ambry Thomas
Strengths: Super-experienced, former top recruit with fine mirroring skills. Had plenty of ball production in college. Twitch is there.
Weaknesses: Tiny frame with severely lacking length. Didn’t test particularly well. A tweener in that he has nickel cornerback size but played on the perimeter and isn’t fast enough to deal with outside receivers. Misses a fair amount of tackles.
- 2021: Three interceptions (T-first among Pac-12 corners)
- 2021: ASU’s highest-graded defender per PFF (79.4)