Patriots: Forecasting Jonathan Jones in 2016
This is the eleventh installment in a 17-part series in which we are forecasting what 2016 holds in store for each member of the New England Patriots’ rookie class. Today, we’re forecasting former Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones (yesterday was D.J. Foster).
Evaluating roster chances of every Patriots draft pick
The skinny: Jones was one of three undrafted rookie cornerbacks signed after the draft (we forecasted V’Angelo Bentley a few days ago and Cre’Von LeBlanc’s forecast is still to come). What you should know about Jones, first and foremost, is how insanely fast he is. Jones posted a 4.33-second 40-yard dash time at the combine, good for third-best among all participants. However, Jones claims he has dipped below 4.3 seconds. Also, it should be noted that Jones is getting $35,000 in guaranteed money, the most among all the Patriots’ undrafted rookies.
Here are all 61 colleges represented on Patriots roster
Pessimistic forecast: With making the team as a cornerback extremely unlikely after a few rough days of training camp, Jones’ only shot is on special teams. But even there, his speed doesn’t show up like the Patriots had expected, and Jones is slashed in the first round of cuts.
Ravens are cheaters, burn them at the stake
Optimistic forecast: Jones wows during training camp, makes the team and follows in the footsteps of former Auburn teammate Brandon King as a standout on punt coverage. Jones even squeaks into the lineup as a slot corner when injuries hit the secondary.
Malcolm Butler will lead NFL in interceptions
Realistic forecast: Look, the Pats showed their interest in Jones by handing him the heftiest amount of guaranteed money out of all eight undrafted rookie signings, so they are going to try to find a way to retain the speedster. Realistically, Jones stands a good chance to start the year on the practice squad and work his way up when injuries hit the special teams ranks.
Be sure to stop by Musket Fire tomorrow morning as we forecast undrafted cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc.
Next: AFC Power Rankings: Pats top post-draft edition
What do you think 2016 has in store for Jones?