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Patriots 4th Round Pick Jack Jones a Talented CB Out of Arizona State

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11 months ago at 4:50 pm ET
Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Draft

Patriots 4th Round Pick Jack Jones a Talented CB Out of Arizona StateRob Schumacher/The Republic, Arizona Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The New England Patriots made their first selection in Round 4 on Saturday, taking another defensive back by selecting Arizona State’s Jack Jones with the #121 overall selection.

The move to grab another cornerback sheds some light on where Bill Belichick seems to feel there’s a need, with Jones becoming the second player selected at that position after the Patriots also addressed that need in Round 3 when they selected Houston’s Marcus Jones with the #85 overall pick.

While Jones likely scored additional points for his versatility, Jones appears to simply be a very good coverage back, having been one of the best defenders in the Pac-12 during his tenure at Arizona State.

Most scouting reports describe him as a smooth, fluid player who really does a terrific job mirroring receivers and looking at the film, he does a good job essentially running the route in front of the receiver and also appears to have a pretty good vertical leap and great hands.

He also has great ball awareness and is a guy who is also aggressive and alert when he closes, often trying to punch out the football when he’s making a tackle.  He’s also extremely physical, with the cornerback also showing no fear when it comes to making a big hit.

Another thing that stands out is that he catches a little bit of grief for being 5’11”, but there didn’t seem to be a lot of plays where he came away on the wrong end of any  50/50 balls.  In fact, he seemed to be fairly strong and generally won most of those battles.

But he’s got great vision and a quick break on the football and definitely appears to be a pretty good addition.

His career initially started at USC, but academic issues saw him get dismissed from the school, which started a bit of a downward spiral.

He was arrested in 2018 for breaking into a Panda Express after hours, which saw him charged with commercial burglary and felony conspiracy to commit a crime.

Fortunately, his agent, James Tooson, helped get him back on the right track after working to get his charges reduced to a misdemeanor, which saw Jones get placed on probation.

From there, Jones buckled down and started focusing on getting himself back on track, spending a year at Moorpark College, which landed him an opportunity to play football again at ASU.

Looking at Jones’ off-field issues, what’s really apparent is the fact that while some coaches could have given up on him, ASU head coach Herm Edwards went the extra mile with him to give him a second chance, as did defensive coordinator, Antonio Pierce.

Pierce seemingly had the best understanding of Jones, having coached him in high school before joining Edwards’ staff.  But the two seemed to really help Jones get on the right track and Edwards talked a couple of days ago about how far Jones had come during that journey.

Having been in that position before during his previous NFL coaching stints, Edwards knows how important it is to try and tell the entire story about a player, and he made sure going into this draft that he held true to that this time as well.

“You tell them exactly where that player is, how far he has come, where he might need some help,” Edwards told the Arizona Republic. “I’ve been in the room (when head coach of the Jets) and we were thinking about drafting a guy and we’d call players on our team, guys we knew that were well respected by their peers and said, `Hey what do you think if we draft this guy.’ You take in all the information and make the best decision for your football team.”

The Patriots were clearly aware of those issues, having met with him earlier this month in Foxboro for a top-30 visit.

According to Pro Football Focus, Tooson also sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams on behalf of Jones to address the 2018 arrest, as well as an altercation in during the 2020 season that saw him suspended after getting into an altercation with a teammate.  He reportedly enrolled in anger management counseling in December of 2021 and was also said to have planned on continuing that counseling in whatever city drafts him.

After Saturday’s selection, it looks like he’ll be looking for a facility near Gillette Stadium.

In the meantime, it’s a great story for a player who went through quite a bit and turned things around, having worked hard to get where he is.  It should also be fun to see his journey continue in the months ahead as he turns the page and begins his career here in New England.

Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Draft
Tags: 2022 NFL Draft 2022 Patriots Draft Arizona State Bill Belichick Herm Edwards Jack Jones New England Patriots

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