Stew Milne-US PRESSWIRE
Chandler Jones has some hype surrounding him.
As a first-round draft choice, Chandler Jones now has to live up to the hype.
The 6'5", 260-pound Syracuse product could line up at defensive end or outside linebacker this season—making him a versatile specimen to watch. He's got long arms and a quick first step, which are two desirable traits for an edge rusher in the Patriots' hybrid Elephant position.
However, expectations must be tempered when it comes to Jones.
The Endicott, N.Y. native never amassed more than 4.5 sacks in one season for the Orangemen (h/t ESPN.com). It's unfair to think he will suddenly break out for 10 sacks right off the bat. Jones put together two seasons of 50-plus tackles, but will that translate from Big East to AFC East competition?
Jones has a rather thin frame for an NFL defensive end. He would benefit by adding some weight to his rangy body. As for now, it won't be easy for Jones to get leverage against 300-pound offensive tackles.
Regardless of the uncertainty, the Boston Herald had kind words to say about Jones and his future in New England:
Most Long-Term Potential: Before the draft, a couple of well-respected analyst said defensive end Chandler Jones would be the best defensive prospect by the time it’s all said and done. Jones is a balanced player who can defend the run and get after the quarterback, and that’s the type of flexibility that Bill Belichick wants out of players on the edge because it keeps them on the field for three downs.
Jones could very well become a household name in the NFL, yet all good things take time. On the depth chart (courtesy of Patriots.com), Jones is battling the likes of Trevor Scott, Jonathan Fanene, Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Deaderick.
If the stars align, it's also a possibility that free agent Andre Carter returns to Foxborough (h/t Mike Reiss, ESPNBoston.com). Carter recorded 10 sacks last season before suffering a quad injury (h/t Shalise Manza Young, The Boston Globe). He would provide Jones with a mentor, but would likely hinder his role as a rookie.
2012 Projected Statistics: 50 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble