There were rumors leading up to the draft that the Patriots were high on Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones, and they executed a rare (for New England) first-round trade up to draft Jones with the 21st overall pick.
Jones was considered a “late riser” in the draft process. Most draftniks didn’t catch onto Jones until late in the process because he was not an overly productive player, managing just 10 career sacks.
But NFL teams were infatuated with Jones’ relentless motor and Pierre-Paulian length. He has incredibly long 35 1/2-inch arms and can afford to pack more than his current 266 pounds onto a 6-foot-5-and-change frame. There is a lot of “growth potential” here.
Jones could develop into the franchise-caliber pass rusher for which New England fans have long clamored.