Which rookie is the New England Patriots’ best ‘value’ pick in 2022?

Each year, a team will land a “value” pick in the NFL Draft. The selection should have usually heard their name called sooner, but injuries, off-field problems and a lack of priority position usually cause top prospects to fall.

Which is the “value” selection for the New England Patriots? Look no further than Arizona State cornerback jack joneswho could end up being a Week 1 starter.

Jones, New England’s fourth-round pick, doesn’t fit the “development player” criteria in terms of what teams usually find on Day 3. A three-year starter for USC and later l Arizona State, Jones comes with plug-and-play experience and all the tools needed to play the limit among the pros.

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The reality of Jones’ stock plunge dates back to the conversation above. As for talent, scouts thought the 5-10, 171-pounder was one of the top 10 players in his position. The concerns stemmed from off-field issues suffered during his time at USC.

Jones has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a Panda Express restaurant in Santa Paula, California. He later pleaded guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of commercial burglary and served 45 days of house arrest.

The incident forced Jones out of school in 2018 after he was deemed academically ineligible. He spent the rest of the year in junior college before transferring to Arizona State before the start of the 2019 season.

“I’m going to focus on my job and I’m going to control what I can control in the future,” Jones mentioned after being questioned about the incident. “I’m looking to be the best teammate I can be and help the Patriots wherever I can.”

Even three years away from the situation, Jones is tracked by his past mistakes. And yes, that played a role in his downfall on draft day, although there were no reported incidents during his time in Tempe.

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Production-wise, Jones is one of two cornerbacks who could represent exponential reps on the perimeter in Bill Belichick’s man-based system. The Patriots need another frontier after losing JC Jackson to the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency.

Outside of his frame, there’s little reason to believe Jones can’t find a way to succeed on the New England fringe likely facing Malcolm Butler or Terrance Mitchell. Of his 1,305 career snaps with the Sun Devils, 1,182 have come from outside.

In terms of production, Jones should immediately compete for first-team representatives. In three seasons with the Sun Devils, he recorded 39 pass breakups and 10 interceptions in 52 games. He also started 22 games, the most of any defensive back on the program before he left.

“That’s what happens with some of these highly touted rookies,” said Matt Groh, director of player personnel for the Patriots. mentioned. “We spent a lot of time with Jack trying to get comfortable and understanding the different situations he’s been through, and it feels good to get to know him and understand those situations to have a process. in place to be able to add him to our program.

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Third-round pick Marcus Jones should find his place in the slot and on special teams. Outside of Jonathan Jones, who also mostly lines up inside, the cornerback room is an open contest. Mitchell was incompatible with the Houston Texans in 2021. Jalen Mills has yet to develop from his safe stint with Philadelphia.

Jack Jones’ college experience and production would likely have made him a top 50 pick. Instead, concerns away from football saw him fall to the Patriots outside of the top 100 picks.

That’s not to say Jack Jones will instantly be the next Jackson, but the value of the pick is promising. He will have the chance to fix the New England secondary in an instant.

Perhaps the same could not be said of the others that Belichick drafted earlier.