A day after taking cornerback Marcus Jones in the third round, the Patriots selected cornerback Jack Jones in the fourth round (121st overall) of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Jones, a 5-foot-10-inch, 174-pound ballhawk originally from Long Beach, California, was highly recruited out of high school. He started his career at the University of Southern California before running into some off-field issues, transferred to JUCO school Moorpark College, then capped his college career at Arizona State.
He clocked a 4.51-second 40-yard dash and is viewed by many as a player with tremendous talent. Here’s a closer look:
Jones played in the Snoop League as a kid.
Jones starred at Long Beach Polytechnic High School and emerged as one of the country’s most highly sought-after prospects. He was a Scout.com All-American, a 5-star recruit, and played on the same team as fellow USC cornerback Iman Marshall and current NFL star JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Willie McGinest, DeSean Jackson, Jurrell Casey, and Snoop Dogg all went to his high school, and he gained experience and connections through Snoop Dogg’s “Snoop Youth Football League.”
Back in 2016, on National Signing Day, Snoop Dogg broke the news that Jones was headed to USC. He tweeted out a video he conducted with Jones, asking Jones how much his friendships factored into his decision to go to the school.
“Not really that much because they know it’s my life,” Jones said. “I got to go on and play football because in a couple years I’m not going to choose where I’m going, they’re going to choose me.”
He’s had multiple off-field incidents.
Jones appeared in all 13 games – including the Rose Bowl – as a true freshman at USC in 2016, contributing in a reserve cornerback role and on special teams.
The next year, he started at corner in all 14 games for the Pac-12 champion Trojans, collecting 40 tackles, a team-leading four interceptions.
He was then dismissed from USC for academic issues. After that, he was arrested and charged with commercial burglary and felony conspiracy to commit a crime after breaking into a Panda Express in June 2018.
Jones was placed on probation and spent a year at Moorpark College to work on his grades. He was also suspended for an altercation with a teammate in 2020 and enrolled in anger management counseling in 2021.
His agent, Jamal Tooson, sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams addressing his off-field troubles.
“He will be taking full advantage of his NFL team’s internal support services and residing in close proximity to the team’s practice facility,” the letter concluded.
Jones said he learned from his arrest.
“I’m not really worried about the past,” he said Saturday. “I’m working on my present.”
He bounced back this past season.
After his time at Moorpark, Jones transferred to Arizona State and tied for ninth nationally with 16 passes defended in 2019.
He played just two games in 2020 but tied for a team-high three interceptions – including an 87-yard, game-sealing, pick-six against rival Arizona – in 2021.
Jones graded as ASU’s top defender this past year, with a score of 79.4, good for 15th among all Pac-12 defenders. The Pac-12 named him an honorable mention defensive back.
There was lots of debate and speculation coming into the draft about where Jones would be selected and whether his off-field history would affect his future.
He’ll try to keep up with the Joneses.
Jones said he was “at a loss for words” when he heard his name Saturday.
“I was shocked,” he said. “I don’t know. I was happy.”
The 24-year-old Jones joins Jalen Mills, Malcolm Butler, Jonathan Jones, Marcus Jones, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade, Terrance Mitchell, and Joejuan Williams as cornerbacks on the Patriots.
He should have a chance to compete for a roster spot and potentially earn some time at a position that was viewed as an area of need entering the draft.
With two Joneses in the mix, the Patriots have more depth than they did two days ago.
“I just want to play every play like it’s my last play,” he said.
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Source : https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2022/04/30/patriots-nfl-draft-jack-jones-fourth-round-cornerback-things-to-know/