New England Patriots rookie defensive end Chandler Jones looks like the easy bet for Defensive Rookie of the Year at this point in time, because he has combined pass rushing prowess with a terrific and underrated ability to shut down the running game on the left side of a team’s offense. Everyone likes to talk about Brandon Spikes and the DTs, but Jones and Rob Ninkovich have formed arguably the best DE tandem against the run in the league.
The Patriots had to trade up to the 21st spot to get Jones in the draft, and they were lucky to get him in the first place. The New York Jets showed a high amount of interest in the Syracuse star, but they decided to go with explosive UNC pass rusher Quinton Coples with that pick instead. While Coples has shown plenty of promise, Jones looks like the better player right now; no arguments there.
Rex Ryan recruited Jones pretty hard by hosting him and talking with the DE several times leading up to the draft. He frequently spoke with Jones about his brother; famous UFC fighter Jon Bones Jones.
He calls Ryan a “good person” and had this to sayabout the game against the Jets, “We’re 3-3 right now. That’s not where we want to be. Personally, that’s not where I would want to be. You’ve got to win. You go into every week with the same goal, to win, win the football game. That’s every week. You have that sense of urgency every week, to win the game, and that’s our goal.”
“We just want to win. If you want to call this a big game, personally for me, it’ll be a big game. That’s my mentality every week, so yeah, against the Jets, it’s a big game.”
This game holds importance to Jones, and we’ll see how he fairs out against left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who is always a tough matchup. I like his chances against the run, but the pass rushing battle is going to be a tough one for the rookie.
As for Coples, he was fined $10,000 for a vicious hit on Andrew Luck.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.