NEPD Editor: James Christensen
It is rare when a Patriots first round pick might be the third most famous person in his family. In this case, Ravens veteran Arthur Jones and MMA Superstar Jon “Bones” Jones certainly took the spotlight from their “little” brother playing his junior year at Syracuse.
That said, Chandler Jones is set to be a big part of the plans for the New England Patriots in the coming years. And you won’t have to pay $64.95 to watch him.
When the New England Patriots traded up for Jones, NEPatriotsDraft.com server crashed (we’ve upgraded now) under the onslaught of Patriots fans wanting to know about him. What they found was that Jones is a project.
He has an enormous NFL-ready body, sporting 35+ inch arms and a 6’5″ / 265 frame that could actually add some bulk. It will be interesting to see if Jones sees time at a position other than 4-3 defensive end. I’ve speculated in the past that he could be a very good 3-4 end if he could 20-30 pounds.
Where he plays in 2012 depends a lot on the defense that Belichick chooses to employ. The Patriots played a lot of hybrid 4-3 “over” combo (half 1 gap, half two gap) in 2011. If they employ similar looks in 2012, look for Jones to play 4-3 end on the 1-gap side – opposite Wilfork.
Jones looked a bit awkward at times last year, almost unsure of his athleticism. He’s a bit stiff and was consistently too high. Despite his technical shortcomings, Jones totaled 7.5 tackles for loss, including 4.5 sacks, in just seven games last season.
I don’t think he will have a huge immediate impact in 2012. However, with some Patriots coaching under his belt, I expect him to come on strong in 2013.
Jones signed his four year contract back in May. He received a $4.38 million signing bonus and will earn $390k, $762k, $1.1m and $1.5m in his first four years. The Patriots have a team-option for the fifth year.