Daniel Jeremiah Notes Patriots’ Third-Rounder ‘Elite’ In One Specific Area

New England addressed a clear need at No. 85

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The New England Patriots addressed a clear need with their third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday night.

The Patriots selected Houston cornerback Marcus Jones with their No. 85 selection, their third of the draft. New England also filled a need at guard with Cole Strange (No. 29) and added a speedy pass-catcher in receiver Tyquan Thornton (No. 50).

NFL Media’s draft expert Daniel Jeremiah was enthusiastic in his reaction about Jones, even noting that one area of his game is “elite.”

“He’s also one of the best returners in this year’s draft class. Had a couple shoulder injuries, but man, I don’t care about the size,” Jeremiah said on the NFL Network broadcast. “When you see what he does with the ball in his hands, you see the nine career punt returns. Elite, elite ball skills for that wide receiver-turned-corner. You see the wide receiver in the way he plays corner.”

Jones, who stands at 5-foot-8 and 174 pounds, was predicted to go in the third or fourth round per NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein.

Zierlein called Jones “electric” with the ball in his hands Friday night. The NFL draft expert even added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Belichick and the Patriots found a way to use Jones as both a slot cornerback and receiver since he was “unguardable” while getting receiver reps at Houston.

On top of all that, it sounds likely that Jones will be able to add return duties to his skillset with the Patriots, especially after the free-agency departure of punt returner Gunner Olszewski this offseason. Belichick appreciates versatility as much as anyone, and it certainly seems like Jones will bring a unique skillset to New England.

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