FB : Jones selected by New England Patriots in 1st round of NFL Draft

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Chandler Jones is officially in the NFL.The New England Patriots selected the former Syracuse defensive end with the 21st overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Patriots traded with the Cincinnati Bengals to move up from the 27th pick.Jones did not attend the draft, instead watching from the Ithaca home of his brother Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, the UFC light heavyweight champion. He joins his brother and former Syracuse defensive tackle, Art, in the pro ranks. Art Jones plays defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.It was the first time since 2002 that a Syracuse player was selected in the first round, when the Indianapolis Colts took defensive end and seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney. Jones’ draft stock has steadily risen in recent weeks putting the 6-foot-5, 266-pounder among the top overall prospects.Jones missed five games of his junior season at SU with a torn ligament in his right knee but still finished with 38 tackles and 4.5 sacks in seven games. He played arguably his best game of the year in the Orange’s 49-23 upset over West Virginia in the Carrier Dome on Oct. 21, notching six tackles and two sacks.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAt the year’s conclusion, Jones announced he would leave Syracuse with one year of eligibility remaining. Shortly after declaring for the draft, Jones started preparing for the NFL at Athletes’ Performance, a training facility in Pensacola, Fla.Jones put up impressive numbers at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, running the 40-yard dash in 4.87 seconds to place among the top-15 defensive linemen, and also reached 35 inches in the vertical jump. At SU Pro Day, Jones impressed NFL scouts again during the positional workouts.And he did it coming off a stomach virus that had resulted in his loss of 11 pounds.He ran drills at both the defensive end and outside linebacker positions at Pro Day but will likely be a defensive end in the NFL. Jones is considered a better-than-average pass rusher, and scouts say he could be explosive in a 4-3 scheme as an end or in a 3-4 as an outside linebacker. He has a wingspan of around 86 inches, letting him blow past offensive tackles effectively.The Patriots typically run multiple defensive looks, which will allow Jones to showcase his versatility in the NFL.cjiseman@syr.edu Published on April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: cjiseman@syr.edu | @chris_isemancenter_img Commentslast_img

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