The New England Patriots traded the 27th pick and the 93rd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Cincinnati Bengals for the 21st pick. With the 21st selection, the New England Patriots selected Syracuse defensive end / outside linebacker Chandler Jones.
The 6'5" 266 lbs pass rusher from Syracuse, Jones instantly becomes the highest pass rusher the Patriots have drafted in the Bill Belichick era. Jones is best suited as a 4-3 defensive end, but certainly has the size and fluidity to play the 3-4 outside linebacker position.
I was a sophomore when Jones arrived to the scene at Syracuse, and I've personally been able to witness him both on the field and behind the scenes. His is a team leader, great guy, and will have no problem buying into the Patriot way from day one.
Jones has a decent burst off the line of scrimmage, and his long arms allow him to manipulate offensive tackles. He has a nice repertoire of pass rush moves, can set the edge, and can turn the corner to get to the cornerback.
I'm not certain that Jones is going to be a day one starter for the Patriots, but he certainly is going to add a dynamic option to the Patriots pass rush. If he can add another ten pounds to his frame, he has the potential to be a Willie McGinest-type of elephant OLB/DE.
Greg's Grade: B+