NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
Leading up to the 2012 NFL draft, Syracuse’s Chandler Jones was advertised as a long, athletic, vine-armed pass-rusher suited to play in multiple defensive schemes. And since then, the 21st overall pick has lived up to his billing for the New England Patriots.
Jones’ rookie season in Foxborough, Mass., consisted of 45 tackles, six sacks and three forced fumbles in 14 regular-season games. In which, the 6’5”, 265-pounder primarily played the role of right defensive end, attacking off the edge and into the backfield. He was adept right off the bat, before seeing an ankle injury compile with the “rookie wall.”
Yet with the offseason came an opportunity for Jones to not only add weight, muscle and pass-rush moves, but a more diversified role in New England’s system. No. 95 has checked the box on all four.
He has become the most versatile chess piece in the Patriots defensive front.