CB Jonathan Jones taking early reps as Patriots' nickel cornerback
- Multiple reports from New England state CB Jonathan Jones has impressed so far this offseason. From Patriots beat writers Adam Kurkjian & Zack Cox noting his performance in OTAs, to head coach Bill Belichick himself stating: “Jonathan is one of a number of players that are in their second year that you usually see a level of jump from those guys.”
- The Patriots will likely deploy their nickel personnel based on the size of the opposition’s receiving core with CB Eric Rowe taking larger receiving options, but Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones appear to be competing with one another for situational playing time against smaller receivers.
- Jonathan Jones is getting work in at the Patriots’ nickel corner position, (assigned to cover slot receivers and defend the run), with competition from Cyrus Jones. It’s one of the few question marks for the NE defense going into 2017, after Logan Ryan signed with the Tennessee Titans as a free agent.
- Due to the Patriots tendency to match up their corners on certain receivers, the nickel corner will need the versatility to move in to the slot. 33 of Jonathan Jones’ 64 total snaps were in slot coverage last year, where he allowed three receptions. It’s a limited sample size, but his 11.0 cover snaps per reception from the slot was tied for the eighth highest mark out of 34 rookie cornerbacks with at least 20 slot snaps.
- 16 of Jonathan Jones’ 64 snaps were against the run, among which he had two tackles and one stop. That’s a stop on 6.3 percent of his run snaps, the highest percentage among all rookie cornerbacks with at least 10 snaps vs. the run.