Patriots Draft Pick Review: Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones Patriots

How would you grade out Chandler Jones’ rookie season? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Staff Writer: Tony Santorsa

With the 21st pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected defensive end Chandler Jones out of Syracuse. The Patriots traded up to draft Jones, as they gave up their third round pick as well as their 27th overall pick to acquire the  21st overall pick from the Cincinnati Bengals.

My first reactions about this selection were certainly shaky—I wasn’t completely sold on Jones. I believed that Jones left school too soon and should have remained at Syracuse one more season. Don’t get me wrong, I believed that Jones had talent and potential, but his talent was raw.

Jones progressed fairly well throughout training camp and the preseason as he earned himself a starting job at right defensive end—and emerged as New England’s most dangerous pass-rusher.

Jones certainly had major impacts in the earlier part of the season, as he strip-sacked Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker in the first game of the season and then went to record four sacks in the next five games.

From that point on, Jones somewhat hit a wall as well as dealing with an injured ankle.

Seeing a rookie hit a wall isn’t all that surprising as they’re transitioning not only from college ball to professional ball, but they’re also playing in a 16 game season compared to a 12 game season in the college ranks. So a decreased in production and injuries are certainly expected.

My biggest knock on Jones is his ability to be a factor in the ground-game. Jones certainly has great potential to be a 10 sack per-year pass-rusher, but he needs to improve on his ability to read and stop the run.

Do I believe that Jones will be able to make that improvement? Well, there’s no question that he’s athletic enough to do so.

All in all, I like to think that Jones did meet expectations in his debut season with the Patriots. Jones certainly proved early on that he can be an impact player on defense and as the ability to put consistent pressure on the defense, but he needs to build on his endurance to last a 16 game season.

Moving forward into 2013 and for many seasons to come, Bill Belichick and the Patriots very well could have found that edge-passer that they have been searching for since the later years of their dynasty.

2012 Stats: 14 games played, 45 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and five pass deflections

Letter Grade: B

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9 Responses to “Patriots Draft Pick Review: Chandler Jones”

  1. Joe E O says:

    Jones playing weight is listed at 260…if that is indeed the case, can’t you see him putting on 20 or 30 pounds at the very least? I think comparing Jones to Mario Williams is more realistic projection of his game. He has that long stride and is very powerful – but just does not have that freaky quickness of JPP.

  2. Nick says:

    I hope Jones puts on some weight this offseason.

    • James says:

      Said he planned too in an interview to end the season

    • mjp says:

      Jones was fine vs the run, he’s a pretty strong kid who holds the point of attack, he may not stack and shed/make tackles off of his frame at an elite level but he was plenty fine.

      The real problem is he’s not a speed rusher, not consistently threaten the outside shoulder of the OT, he borrowed that stutter step move from Mark Anderson and it worked early and often, he’s also long and strong, has an effective bull rush, but when it comes to getting around the corner of the OT he’s not fast enough, he’ll need to develop a more diversified pass-rush, develop counters and an inside move, vary his rush speeds, learn to set up OT’s because he did hit a wall, as a pass-rusher.

      I’d love to see him utilized like JPP, add 25lbs to his frame, slide him inside, get a true edge-rusher to pair with him like SF has with Smith&Smith.

  3. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Jones is learning the Patriots D as well as finding him self as a complete player, not just a rusher. The NFL lineman are also a step-up from what he saw in college. Better strength training, understanding the pro game is all part of the learning process. DE/T Armstead will give teams Oline somthing else to watch, giving Jones more chances. If the Pats draft a guy like DE/LB John Simon to rest, Ninkovich so he can be fresher, that will be positive for more presure on the QB as well.

    • acm says:

      yep, guy needs time … and some more mass in the form of 15 or so lbs of muscle. shouldn’t overdo it and go above 280lbs though.

      I like Simon but imagine Ansah or D. Jones opposite of Chandler … mmm, sweet dreams 🙂

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I’m not sold on Ansah, I like Jones but I think he’s gone by #15 in the draft. This guy Kwame Geathers DT 6’6″ 355, looks a very interesting Prospect, I would love to get him with a 4th, great value !!! Jenkins his team mate got all the press.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          Also feel DT Evertt Dawkins maybe the best DT in the 3d round, and for the value, as good as , some of the guys I have seen on tape in the 1st round! At 6’2″ 285+ he is very quick, yet holds his ground well, and is very disruptive. Quick enough to easly run stunts, in fact his tape looked very similar, to Armstead’s tape we just signed out of Canada !

        • acm says:

          Don’t know about Gathers – just not that big a fan of overly-big DTs, I guess. I like some athleticism in that position too and would go as much as a Jesse Williams in that regard … even JW I liked more when he was a bit slimmer a couple of years back.

          Maybe that’s why I find Dawkins an interesting proposition. I personally am pretty high on his teammate Timmy Jernigan but Dawkins looks good too, especially as a sleeper pick in the draft at DT. Kind of similar in measurables to Shariff Floyd, who along with Williams is probably my top choice for a DT in the draft. Interesting indeed.

          Regarding Armstead, I think in the CFL he’s dropped quite a bit of weight compared to what he was at USC (310-320 or something, maybe even more) and looks a lot more mobile. If what the Argonauts GM mentioned to be his current weight is indeed true (280lbs) and by the looks of it he is somewhere in that area, that 6’5″ frame of his would make suitable for a DE in both 3-4 and 4-3 systems and an inside pass-rushing DT more than a run-stuffing DT. So, that makes me think BB would be looking for a heavier DT in the draft or free agency as a replacement for Brace and/or Pryor.

          My guess is, if he could have it his way, BB would go for Jesse Williams or Short in the draft but, unless some crazy trade changes the pick-lanscape for the Pats this year, he may well have to settle for a value DT deeper in the draft.

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