Patriots: 3 players who aren’t getting enough respect entering 2021

Patriots secondary (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Patriots secondary (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /
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Patriots CB Jonathan Jones (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

2. Jonathan Jones

While the Patriots likely could’ve gotten away without tinkering their secondary this offseason, their succulent cap situation, coupled with the uncertain futures of cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Patrick Chung, who has since retired, really left them no other choice.

The Jalen Mills signing figures to be a strong one given that he’s capable of playing the CB and safety positions at a high level. We just hope it doesn’t cut into Jonathan Jones’ playing time, as he’s been one of the most underrated cornerbacks in the entire NFL over the last two years.

Jones should enter training camp as the No. 3 CB on the Pats roster, and nothing (unless he forgets how to play the position) should change that. After all, he played 72% of the defensive snaps last year and earned a stellar 80.8 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus.

It’s time to give Jonathan Jones his flowers, Patriots fans.

It’d be easy to give Gilmore and JC Jackson all the plaudits while discussing New England’s secondary, but Jones has been just as effective. Before his breakout campaign last year, Jones allowed just a 60.8% completion percentage in 2019 and forced incompletions at the fifth-highest rate among CBs on passes thrown between the numbers.

While Jones isn’t a gifted pass rusher, he’s as good as they come at the cornerback position in terms of man-to-man coverage and rushing defense. The five-year pro has been underrated for far too long and we are here to officially put an end to that narrative.