Pats Take Alabama Corner With First Draft Selection
After sitting out the first round of the NFL Draft, with their top pick being taken away from them as a result of penalties from the Deflategate saga, the New England Patriots got their first chance to make a selection with the 60th overall pick.
With the late second round pick, the Pats decided to add depth to their defensive secondary by drafting University of Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones.
Jones played solid in coverage last season, intercepting two passes and causing seven pass breakups.
The senior was best known for his skills in the return game, however, as one of the nation's top punt returners over the past few seasons. Last year, Jones returned four punts for touchdowns, which left him just one shy of tying an FBS record.
The decision to select Jones not only helps deepen a somewhat thin and unproven unit in the defensive secondary behind top corners Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan, but it also will allow the Pats to keep receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola off the field in punt situations.
The two wide outs had been the teams top options in the punt return game, though injuries to both last year coupled with their importance in the offense make it a smart move to bring in someone else with experience in the role.
Jones is no stranger to championship play, either. Spending four years in Alabama, Jones won two National Championships, including last season, and three SEC titles.
The Pats also had the next pick in the draft but decided to do what they do best and traded the 61st overall selection to the New Orleans Saints for the 78th and 112th overall picks.