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NFL Draft: New England Patriots Select Arizona State CB Jack Jones

A team finally bets on the athletic upside of Arizona State cornerback Jack Jones, as he lands in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Much has been made about Arizona State cornerback Jack Jones on and off the field. 

On the field, Jones was able to make his mark in a considerably strong Sun Devils secondary with his athletic upside and ability to track the football. 

Off the field, NFL teams had legitimate concerns about prior incidents that led to his departure from USC early in his college career. 

The noise has been loud about Jones' shortcomings, yet the noise that erupted from he and his close ones was likely louder. 

Jones was selected by the New England Patriots at pick No. 121 in the fourth round. 

Here's The Draft Network's scouting report on Jones:

"Arizona State’s Jack Jones is a well-traveled prospect who has had to overcome adversity to get to this point in his football career. A 5-star prospect out of high school in 2016, Jones signed with USC and immediately was a contributor, seeing time as a true freshman before earning a starting role as a sophomore. In his second year with the Trojans, Jones led the team with four interceptions. Jones was then kicked off the roster in the spring of his junior season due to academic issues before finding himself in trouble with the law that following summer. He then transferred to Moorpark J.C. where he played one season in 2018 before transferring to ASU. In his first year with the Sun Devils, he again was an immediate contributor, earning Honorary Mention All-Pac-12. Jones then put together two more strong seasons in 2020 and 2021, cementing himself as an NFL draft prospect. As a prospect, Jones is an undersized corner who has outstanding overall athleticism. He is an effective man-cover corner with outstanding foot quickness, fluid hips, and change of direction. He is a sticky cover man who can mirror in and out and has very good speed to carry vertically. In zone coverage, he is effective with his click-and-close ability and his instincts are good overall. Jones flashes excellent ball skills and is a threat to score with the ball in his hands. His overall lack of size, length, and strength show up in contested-catch situations as well as at the line of scrimmage where he can get overpowered by bigger receivers. Additionally, while he is a willing tackler in run support, he can get bullied by bigger backs who can simply overpower him. Overall, Jones has natural coverage ability that you can’t coach thanks to his cat-like feet, oily hips, and closing burst, but his lack of size and strength will always be a concern at the next level."

The Patriots' love for Jones was well documented, as the team met with him multiple times throughout the draft process. 

New England currently has outside cornerbacks such as Malcolm Butler, Jalen Mills Joejuan Williams, Terrance Mitchell, Shaun Wade and Justin Bethel. Jones could begin on special teams and work his way up to regular playing time down the road. 

Jones was the No. 16 cornerback taken in the draft, the fifth coming on Saturday. He is the fourth Arizona State product to be drafted by the Patriots since 2016, following in the footsteps of Devin Lucien, Christian Sam and N'Keal Harry. 

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