NEPD Editor: James Christensen
With the 21st pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Patriots have selected Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse). The Patriots gave up their 3rd round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft to move up from the 27th pick with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jones projects as an “elephant” linebacker or a defensive end in either odd or even fronts. I think he struggles a bit in space, but certainly has a ton of upside. If he bulks up Jones could contribute as a 3-4 end, but his most natural position right now is at 4-3 end.
One of Jones’ biggest strengths is his size. He has enormous 35+ inch arms and came in at 6’5″ / 265. Those are the measurables that Belichick loves to see out of his edge players.
Jones was certainly not dominant during his time at Syracuse, but has risen up draft boards lately due to his projection as an elite defensive player, even garnering the honor being Mike Mayock’s best draft prospect. Jones totaled 38 tackles, including 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss, during the seven games he played in 2011.
Here is our scouting report on Chandler Jones.
For those of you scoring at home, I had this pick nailed in my last mock draft.
The Patriots still have the 31st pick in the first round. (Update: The Patriots traded up and selected Dont’a Hightower with the 25th pick)