NFL Nation reporters recently named the player with something to prove heading into 2017. Who did they choose for the New England Patriots?
As the 2017 approaches, the New England Patriots will be trying to repeat as champions in 2017.
One of the main reasons why the Patriots were so successful in 2016 was because of their defense. Led by a strong secondary and an underrated front seven, the Patriots did a good job slowing down offenses in 2016.
Even though they had one of the best defenses in the league, that wasn’t thanks to their top overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Cornerback Cyrus Jones was the highest player selected by the Patriots in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he really did not play well in his rookie season.
As a second round pick, being benched in your rookie season is certainly not a good thing. For Jones, 2017 will be a chance to redeem himself. Jones was a much better player in college than we saw last season.
Recently, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com named Jones as the player who has the most to prove on the Patriots in 2017. Here’s what Reiss had to say.
"The team’s top draft choice in 2016 (second round, No. 60 overall) had a rocky rookie season that led to his being inactive for the Super Bowl, and he later said that he didn’t feel like he was part of the team. The 2017 campaign offers him a fresh start and an opportunity to become the club’s top slot corner after Logan Ryan signed with Tennessee as a free agent. — Mike Reiss"
Even though the Patriots have a strong secondary, they could certainly use Jones to perform in 2017. The addition of Gilmore might be an improvement over Logan Ryan, but he will be playing on the outside.
That leaves Jones with an opportunity to get some playing time as potentially the third cornerback if he performs. Entering just his second season, Jones certainly is capable of turning his career around after a poor rookie season.