New England Patriots: Jonathan Jones named under-the-radar player to watch
By Nick Ziegler
With OTAs coming to an end for the New England Patriots, who is a player to keep an eye on as we head into training camp?
The New England Patriots have wrapped up their OTAs, and there have been a few takeaways from the early summer workouts.
Coming into the 2017 season, one of the possible areas of concern for the Patriots has to in their secondary. While the Patriots have two great cornerbacks in Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler, there is some concern after them.
Last season, cornerback Cyrus Jones did not perform well as a second round pick. Coming into this offseason, Jones really has to perform well, as his roster spot could be in danger. After a good start to OTAs, Jones struggled a bit, as he will be firmly on the roster bubble this summer.
While Cyrus Jones might be struggling, Jonathan Jones certainly is not. In OTAs, Jones has been very impressive in the Patriots’ nickel defense with Gilmore and Butler. Recently, Mike Reiss named Jones as an under-the-radar player to watch. Here’s what he said about Jones.
"Jones, a second-year cornerback from Auburn who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2016, was paired with starters Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore in the team’s nickel package and showed up with several passes defended. Jones made his mark as a rookie on special teams but has a nice opportunity ahead of him to expand his role to include more work on defense. — Mike Reiss"
As an undrafted free agent, Jones has been another classic story in New England of a player who has been overlooked but has found success.
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As we head toward training camp, Jones appears to be the nickel cornerback for the Patriots. In the pass-heavy NFL, this could mean a good amount of playing time is coming for Jones in 2017. While there is still a long way to go before the season starts, Jones is certainly a player to keep an eye for the Patriots.