Unlike most members of the New England Patriots’ draft class, Missouri safety Joshuah Bledsoe won’t be walking into the same Gillette Stadium locker room as someone he played with prior.
But Bledsoe, who was picked in the sixth round at No. 188 overall, is no stranger here, having played in the SEC. And the 22-year-old Bledsoe vividly remembers playing Jones during Missouri’s season opener this past season.
Jones completed 75 percent of his passes (18-for-24) for 249 yards and threw two touchdowns during Alabama’s 38-19 win over Missouri.
“He’s real poised,” Bledsoe said of Jones during a conference call with reporters Saturday. “He has a good arm and he makes good decisions distributing the ball, so I’m glad I get to team up with him. I’m glad he’s on the opposite side of the ball. It’s going to be fun in practice going against him.”
Bledsoe made three total tackles (one for loss) with one pass defensed that night. It was a night he perhaps realized the potential of Jones.
“Like I said, he’s real poised. At the quarterback position, you’ve got to be poised. You’ve got to have that kind of calm demeanor of playing that position and I feel like he has all the right tools and the right mindset,” Bledsoe said. “He’s just a good fit for the position. I’m glad he’s in New England with me. We’re going to go have fun. We’re going to turn New England up.”
Bledsoe, measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 204 pounds, was a versatile defender for the Tigers as he played free safety, strong safety and win the slot. He led Missouri in passes defended in each of the last two seasons, tallying 10 in 2019 and seven with one interception in 2020.
Head coach Bill Belichick offered some praise of his own for Bledsoe, too.
“Bledsoe was a versatile player at Missouri, did a lot of different things for their football team,” Belichick said during a video conference Saturday. “(He) was in a couple different systems, defensive staffs out there, but through it all, it’s a very athletic player, high school quarterback, point guard, defensive safety, very, very instinctive player.”