Versatility is a long-standing trait that stands out among Bill Belichick’s draft picks and other roster additions throughout his tenure in New England. That pattern continued at the 2022 NFL draft over the weekend with the selection of cornerback and return specialist Marcus Jones.
Draft analysts praised his speed and overall versatility, with the ability to make an impact on both defense and special teams. He even got some snaps at wide receiver at Houston – and based on this tweet from NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein, there’s a chance he gets a look on offense from the Patriots, too.
Do not be surprised to see Bill Belichick find ways to use Marcus Jones not only as a slot corner, but also as a receiver. He was absolutely unguardable getting in and out of his routes when he was given receiver reps at Houston. Electric with the ball in his hands.— Lance Zierlein (@LanceZierlein) April 30, 2022
The 5-foot-8 cornerback made five interceptions and 47 total tackles in 2021 for Houston. He also made big plays in the return game, including two touchdowns each on kick and punt returns. As a receiver, he snagged 10 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Similar to his new teammate Jabrill Peppers in his rookie year with the Browns, Jones comes to Foxboro as a potential triple threat in Belichick’s system.
PHOTOS: Patriots third-round pick Marcus Jones
Marcus Jones #8 of the Houston Cougars returns a punt for a touchdown in the third quarter against the South Florida Bulls on November 14, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 04: Marcus Jones #8 of the Houston Cougars breaks up a pass to Jadon Thompson #20 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second half of the 2021 American Conference Championship at Nippert Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Dec 4, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) prior to the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the American Athletic Conference championship at Nippert Stadium. Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce (12) catches a pass in the end zone but is unable to come down with it under pressure from Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) in the second quarter of the American Athletic Conference Championship football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Houston Cougars at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (Sam Greene/The Enquirer/USA Today Network)
Sep 18, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) celebrates his touchdown during the second quarter against the Grambling State Tigers at TDECU Stadium. Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Jones #8 of the Houston Cougars breaks up a pass to Jadon Thompson #20 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second half of the 2021 American Conference Championship at Nippert Stadium on December 04, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Sep 25, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars cornerback Marcus Jones (8) returns a punt for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Navy Midshipmen at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports