New England Patriots

Nov 27, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Jack Jones (0) against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Patriots started off Day 3 of the NFL Draft by continuing to build up their secondary. Arizona State cornerback Jack Jones was their pick at 121st overall.

    Throughout the pre-draft process, the Patriots were linked to Jones. That included hosting him for a top-30 visit. What put him on their radar? Here’s how the top draft experts are breaking down his game.

  • Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

    “A highly coveted recruit coming out of Long Beach Poly High School, Jones initially attended USC and started all 14 games in his sophomore season, leading the Trojans with four interceptions. But following that breakout season, Jones was ruled academically ineligible and then arrested for breaking into a restaurant after hours, eventually pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of commercial burglary. After spending a year in junior college, Jones enrolled at Arizona State. Earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors in 2019 and 2021, Jones was limited to one game in 2020 due to a suspension for violating team rules. As a player, he’s a ball-hawking cornerback with playmaking instincts. Despite solid ball production, though, Jones also gave up a lot of touchdowns at the college level. His lack of size/strength should make technique a top priority, as his talent for finding the football won’t matter as much if he can’t get on the field. Jones could be a late Day 3 selection, but physical deficiencies are working against him.”

    (Source)

  • Brentley Weissman, The Draft Network

    “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.”

    (Source)

  • Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network

    Positives: Inconsistent cornerback who flashes tremendous ball skills. Quick transitioning off the line, stays step for step with receivers downfield, and stays on their hips out of breaks. Fluid pedaling in reverse and mixes it up with receivers throughout the route. Gets his head back around to locate the ball in the air and correctly positions himself to defend passes. Competes to break up throws, gets vertical, and does not back down from a challenge. Possesses a closing burst to the action and works to defend the run.

    Negatives: Falls asleep and has too many lapses. Overcommits and ends up whiffing on assignments. Not a stout tackler and drags down opposing ball handlers.

    Analysis: After showing signs of brilliance early in his career at USC, Jones transferred to Arizona State and once again flashed next-level skill. Despite struggling during Shrine Bowl practices, Jones has enough ability to line up in nickel packages on Sundays if he consistently plays at a high level.

    (Source)

  • Tyler Sullivan, CBS Sports

    Strengths: Super-experienced, former top recruit with fine mirroring skills. Had plenty of ball production in college. Twitch is there.

    Weaknesses: Tiny frame with severely lacking length. Didn’t test particularly well. A tweener in that he has nickel cornerback size but played on the perimeter and isn’t fast enough to deal with outside receivers. Misses a fair amount of tackles.

    (Source)

  • Cory Giddings, Bleacher Report

    “Jack Jones is a smooth cornerback who has the ability to play both in the slot and outside. He plays with a controlled pedal and quick feet. He’s quicker than fast but has loose hips which gives him the ability to seamlessly turn and run.

    Jones shows good patience in his pedal. He doesn’t get out too quickly and allow the receiver to declare his routes before overcommitting. His quick feet allow him to get out of breaks with a very good burst, often looking to run the route for the receiver on short and intermediate breaking routes.

    When in press coverage, Jones moves his feet on the snap to keep leverage and positioning, along with displaying the quick twitch and lateral movement needed at the line. He shoots his hands in press to keep positioning as well as looking to disrupt the timing of routes.

    Jones has very good timing when playing the ball in coverage. Regardless of whether he turns and locates the ball or has his back to it, he doesn’t panic downfield, and he’s able to attack the ball from many different angles.

    Jones’ lack of size can show up at times whe he’sn covering larger receivers. He occasionally gets walled off and stuck on their backs, making it hard for him to make a play on the ball.

    Jones is a scrappy player who has a nose for the ball and a knack for making plays in the run game. He makes quick reads and has even quicker reactions to come up and support the run.

    Jones has shown to be a viable blitzer off the edge, as well as one who plays his part on the nub side of formations. His slight frame can be an issue in the run game, as he can take the brunt of tackles, especially when matched against bigger backs.

    Jones was invited to the Shrine Game, where he looked impressive in the limited time he was on the field. He will have to carve out a role in the NFL, which seems possible given his twitch and athletic ability.”

    (Source)