FOXBORO - While the 2022 season is yet to kick off - training camp is still a month away - the scouting department of the New England Patriots never sleeps.
And 2023 already beckons.
A source tells Patriots Country that the Patriots have expressed interest and have begun scouting Missouri Valley College running back Jaleen Jones as a potential draft choice or free agent next offseason.
Further proving it's never too early to look ahead, a mock draft this week has the Patriots selecting receiver help for quarterback Mac Jones in next April's NFL Draft.
Jones, 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, is a powerful runner who transferred from the University of Minnesota-Duluth after the 2020 season. He also has garnered interest from multiple NFL and other professional organizations.
Jones played defensive back in high school and was originally was committed to Eastern Illinois before decommitting after Danny Nutt, his main recruiter, was let go.
“(Missouri Valley College) offered me an opportunity to showcase my talents in what I believe is more effective and an education to set me up for the future,” Jones said to Patriots Country on why he transferred schools.
While Jones will be a senior this Fall, he has his hopes set on the NFL. And apparently teams are already eyeing him as well.
“My work ethic, ability to learn on the fly and love for the game,” Jones said on what makes his game stand out. “My skills and IQ for the game are more advanced due to me being a true student of the game, I am able to project my craft both on and off the field.”
The Patriots, who are seemingly deep at running back with Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and James White, drafted two more this Spring in South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong Jr and South Carolina’s Kevin Harris.
Even though we have yet to see this year’s rookie class take the field, there are always players that de facto general manager Bill Belichick will find to help make his team better.