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Patriots cornerback Jack Jones named seventh best rookie in the NFL this season

NFL: NOV 06 Colts at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Patriots have seen considerable contributions from their rookie class this year, and one of the most active players is cornerback Jack Jones. The fourth-round draft pick is currently the team’s No. 3 on the outside alongside Jonathan Jones and Jalen Mills, and as such has led all of the team’s defensive rookies in playing time.

Whenever on the field, Jones has fared well. This in turn, has led to him being named the seventh best rookie in the entire league as part of a recent ESPN analysis.

7. Jack Jones, CB, New England Patriots

Stats: 24 tackles, 2 INTs, 5 passes defended, 1 TD, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery

Drafted: No. 121

Why he’s here: Who would have thought that Jones, a fourth-round draft pick, would be a seamless replacement for premier free agent J.C. Jackson in New England? Well, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, for one. Jones has been a rock star as a nickel cornerback and is the Patriots’ long-term future at the position. When teams target him in coverage, they have minus-11.9 expected points added, which trails just Gardner among rookie corners (NFL Next Gen Stats). — Miller

Going forward: It’s difficult for any rookie to earn Belichick’s trust, especially on defense, but Jones has done just that. He has been especially effective in the Patriots’ zone looks and on special teams, and his explosiveness means he will block some kicks in his career. — Legwold

As head coach Bill Belichick said earlier this week, the entire Patriots rookie class has a long way to go. The early returns, especially on a player like Jones, have been promising, though.