ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay released the second version of his 2012 NFL Mock Draft Tuesday, and to a surprise to a lot of Syracuse football fans their own Chandler Jones, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defense end, has vaulted into the first round. According to McShay, the New England Patriots, who have two first-round selections, will use their 27th-overall selection on Jones, who declared for the draft in late December and was originally given a third-round draft grade by the advisory committee.
Here's what McShay had to say:
"The Patriots have two first-round picks, and while coach Bill Belichick's track record indicates he'll trade one of them, we have to project both to the Patriots until we know otherwise. Jones is an under-the-radar pass-rusher with the frame (6-5, 247) Bill Belichick likes in his DE/OLB hybrids, and he's a gifted athlete who bends the edge naturally. He's the brother of Ravens DL Arthur Jones and MMA sensation Jon Jones."
In all respect to Jones, who's a very underrated pass rusher, this does come as a bit of a surprise. In no way am I saying that Jones doesn't have first-round talent, it's just I would have thought that with his recent history with injuries it would scare teams away from selecting him that early.
Last season, Jones played in just seven games as he battled a lower-body injury, however, No. 99 did tally 30 solo tackles, 7 1/2 tackles for a loss, 4 1/2 sacks and earned All-Big East First-Team honors. Also, Jones did start and play in all of his games during his sophomore and junior seasons.
When Jones was in the game and healthy, however, he was a force to be reckoned with -- note: his performance in a 49-23 victory, Oct. 21, over the West Virginia Mountaineers.
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