Patriots preseason: Thuney, Mitchell lead top five rookies so far

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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Cyrus Jones Patriots
Aug 11, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Tim Hightower (34) runs past New England Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones (24) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Cyrus Jones

See a theme developing here? The Patriots brought in a stellar assortment of rookie defensive backs this offseason, and we’re already seeing results on the practice field and in Patriots preseason games. Topping the list is Alabama product Jones, who figures to accept a substantial role for the Patriots in 2016.

5 things you should know about Cyrus Jones

After a bit of a slow start to Patriots preseason in early training camp practices, Jones has improved in coverage. While he may not entirely unseat Coleman as the nickel corner, Jones will likely see plenty of action on defense right away. And with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola being kept out of harm’s way at punt returner during Patriots preseason, Jones has no shortage of opportunities to prove himself in that department and possibly take on a regular role fielding punts.

Next: 2. Malcolm Mitchell