Sep 14, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Vikings 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
1a. Chandler Jones
This dude is such a beast.
I have no problem in saying Chandler Jones will be a top three defensive end by the time the 2015 season opener gets here. He is just that good. Jones has racked up 14 total tackles, two sacks, he has blocked a kick, and he returned that same kick for a touchdown. His athleticism is off the charts, and if he can bulk up a bit, and add some power moves to his arsenal, there is no stopping number 95.
Aside from Darrelle Revis, and Vince Wilfork, Jones is the most important player on this defensive unit. He is the one guy that can bring that explosive pass rush off the edge, which is a necessity in today’s NFL. It is a passing league, and in order to stop the pass, you need at least one guy that can bring the heat. Jones has also been great in the running game, once he moved back to the outside where he belongs.
For some reason the coaching staff had Jones as the defensive end in a 3-4 defense in the opener down in Miami, and it was obvious that is not his best position. As long as he is on the edge, he will dominate.