The New England Patriots might have just found a new weapon for their defense in Marcus Jones (DB, Houston). The Patriots selected Jones in the third round (85th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft. In 2021, Jones led the entire NCAA with two punt return touchdowns and won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player.
Why Marcus Jones Fits in New England
Jones does not wow you based on his production or physical attributes, but there is a lot of intrigue for his usage in the NFL based on his versatility and the team that selected him.
Bill Belichick deploys his players in many different ways, and his versatility makes him a strong fit for the New England Patriots. We have already seen Belichick utilize Kyle Dugger as a safety and a linebacker, so it will not be a surprise to see someone like Jones as a Swiss Army knife in coverage.
Evaluating Jones’ Scouting Report
Here are some of the attributes that Jones possesses as a player:
- Limited size & length
- Explosive athlete with suddenness
- Projects as a slot corner
- Potential immediate impact as a punt/kick returner
- Showed the ability to mirror/match press man
Sure, his 5-foot-8, 174-pound frame is a reason for his struggles in contested-catch situations, but he is a sticky corner that is always near the defender.
What Role Is Jones Likely to Play in the NFL?
Jones projects as a slot corner for the New England Patriots, similar to the role that Mike Hilton has played throughout his career.
Believe it or not, Marcus Jones has a similar size and skillset as multiple First-Team All-Pro Tyrann Mathieu. Jones has experience playing slot corner, boundary corner, and even safety.
It will be interesting to see the creative ways that Bill Belichick intends to use Marcus Jones as a potential new weapon in his defense in New England.