FOXBOROUGH – Taking a look at the Patriots’ trade up and selection of Syracuse DE/OLB Chandler Jones.
He is the prototype for the Elephant DE/OLB position in the Patriots’ defense made famous by Willie McGinest, and played last season by Andre Carter and Mark Anderson.
Anderson signed with the Bills, and Carter is a free agent after having leg surgery. He could be back. Trevor Scott, who was signed from the Raiders, has similar skills for that position.
Jones, who was a junior entry, goes nearly 6-5 ˝ and 266 pounds and has very long arms (35 ˝ -inch arms). He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds. Jones has a great first step. He can do what Bill Belichick wants: stand up to a tackle but also get to the quarterback.
If there’s a knock on Jones, it’s that he’s a bit raw and he needs to get stronger (22 reps on the 225-pound bench press). Some scouts said he wasn’t ready to be a big-time player this season, but could be special with some development.
“I see him as more of a second-round talent, a chance to be a starter,” said an AFC personnel executive that runs a 3-4 defense. “He needs some development, has good length, needs some development, but there is room to grow.”
He’ll likely be given every opportunity to be a starter, especially if Carter is not re-signed, but it may take Jones a year of seasoning to really fill a role that can be tough for a younger player to master because there’s so much reading and reacting.