Nobody expected New England Patriots defensive tackle Chris Jones to explode onto the scene like this. He was waived by two different general managers who didn’t think he was worth a roster spot. Yet Jones has proven all his doubters wrong thus far.
Jones was a sixth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, going 198th overall to the Houston Texans. He played his college football at Bowling Green University, winning the 2012 Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award. That’s because he was electric in his senior season, tallying 12.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.
What caused Jones to fall so far was the fact that he played at a little-known college football school, and that he lacked an NFL skill set. Jones has very short arms (32.75 inches) and only goes about 6-foot-2, 302 pounds. He won his battles in college mostly due to sheer will and a relentless motor. Scouts didn’t know if that would work for him in the pros.
Apparently Texans’ coaches didn’t think Jones’ skills would work either, as the defensive tackle was waived on August 30. He was then claimed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik. However, Jones was soon waived after that, eventually being claimed by Bill Belichick on September 11.
The rest is history. Jones has recorded five sacks in just five games played so far, providing a much-needed spark on the interior. Though he may not have the same build as Tommy Kelly, Jones has filled Kelly’s pass-rushing role admirably. If Jones continues to produce like this, then Patriots fans might be looking at the next young breakout player for Bill Belichick and company.