Jack Jones doesn’t want to spend much time talking about the elephant in the room.
A cornerback out of Arizona State, Jones was selected by the New England Patriots on Saturday with the 121st overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Undeniably talented, Jones (ranked 34th among corners in The Athletic’s draft guide) was a projected late-round pick due to a variety of off-field issues.
He began his career at USC but left before the 2018 season after being ruled academically ineligible. In June of that year, Jones was arrested for allegedly breaking into a Panda Express, with felony charges later being reduced to a second-degree misdemeanor commercial-burglary charge.
After spending time at Moorpark College to improve his grades, the California native resurfaced with Arizona State. While with the Sun Devils in 2020, Jones missed time after being suspended for fighting during practice.
During a conference call Saturday with New England reporters, Jones was asked about how he’s progressed since his early college days. He gave a very Patriots-like answer.
“Thank you, but I’m going to focus on my job,” Jones said. “And I’m going to control what I can control. going forward, I’m looking to be the best teammate I can be and help the Patriots out any way that I can.”
When asked specifically about the arrest, Jones added: “I learned from it, I’m looking forward to moving forward. I’m not really worried about the past, working on my present right now, what I have going on. Control what I can control.”
As a player, the 5-foot-11, 177-pound Jones is considered an athletic, hard-working corner whose small size could be a problem. Jones did battle some injuries while at Arizona State.
“I just go out there and play every play like it’s my last,” he said.