PHILIP TOR | PATS MILITIA WRITER
Despite the harsh penalties handed down by dictator Goodell in the deflategate punishment, Belichick and his staff had a successful 2016 draft. The Patriots picked up a great group of young players that can help them add depth to a team riddled with injuries last season. With that being said, there were a few positions that the Patriots needed to address in the draft, those being offensive line, pass rusher, running back, and a linebacker. Even with their limited role in the draft, the Patriots picked up some good, talented players especially with their first pick in the second round.
With the Patriots losing their first round pick, they first found themselves on the clock in the second round 60th overall. In that position Belichick selected Cyrus Jones, 5″10 Cornerback from the University of Alabama. Now the Patriots did not necessarily need a corner, but you can never have too many DB’s as they all seem to have off and on days at the NFL level. Jones will fit in nicely to a young group of DB’s in the Patriots system.
On the surface Jones looks like a tough, rigid corner who is not afraid to tangle with the best. Jones has good speed at a 4.49 40-yard dash and a 4.21 shuttle run. From his college film you can tell he can become a great player in the league. Jones has great instincts, a true knack for the ball. With development of his technique and coverage he could be a great piece as a no.3 corner behind Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan.
Another HUGE part of Cyrus Jones’ game is his skill in the return game. Jones has proven himself as a fantastic punt returner in college, running back 4 punts for scores in 2015-16 including this dash against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl.
True Patriots fans know that we did not have a reliable punt returner late last season because of the injuries to Edelman and Amendola. The inconsistency and muffed punts cost the Patriots a win in Denver, when Chris Harper dropped a punt in the fourth quarter that allowed the Broncos to score and climb back into the game. I don’t think Bill will want to put Edelman or Amendola on special teams anymore because their absence was felt, and the injury risk is just not worth it. This opens a spot for Jones to make an immediate impact right from the start if he can beat out other returners Keyshawn Martin and Matthew Slater.
Cyrus Jones also comes with some question marks surrounding his game. His height (5″10) has been a question because in college he played on the outside against bigger bodies with success. In the NFL, on the outside corners face 6″5 or 6″6 receivers that can jump up and make catches over shorter cornerbacks. We all remember the beating Plaxico Burress gave Ellis Hobbs in the 2008 Super Bowl and looking back it was kind of unfair (Hobbs was 5″9, Burress was 6″5).Nevertheless, Jones can get away with being undersized if he uses his strength to knock receivers off the line. Basically he has to become a shadow of Brandon Browner, a physical, fiery, dominant player who can control his assignment.
Long story short is Belichick drafted this guy because he can play. He proved himself at Alabama, becoming one of Nick Saban’s favorite players. He knows what to do to help his team win the game, and will do more than his part. He is a winner and the Patriots picked up a great prospect who can help immediately and develop into a great player in the future with experience.
Our man Cyrus has no time for the haters on twitter so advice to all of the Militia, keep it clean when talking about Cyrus or he may just call you out. Also he seems a little obsessed with the joker, so take that as you will