Patriots Draft: Scouting Report on CB Marcus Jones

The Patriots drafted Houston cornerback Marcus Jones with the 85th pick of the third round of the NFL Draft.

Jones is undersized at 5-8 174 and profiles more as a slot corner. Despite that, he can still play on the outside because of his closing speed and ball skills.

The Patriots spent a lot of time with Jones in the pre-draft process so it is not a surprise that they drafted him.

Factor in his ability to return kicks and Jones was a no brainer selection for the team.

Here is my scouting report on Marcus Jones.

Marcus Jones, 5-8 174, Houston

Man to Man Coverage: Jones does a good job of using his hands and feet in man coverage. He flips his hips with ease and gets on a receivers hip from the release. Stays in phase and maintains hip position all the way through the route. Jones has good ball skills. Breaks up passes routinely but also has the hands to go up and get the ball.

Jones can get a little handsy at times with his jam and needs to be careful with his hand usage at the next level.

Zone Coverage: Didn’t play a lot of zone coverage at either Troy or Houston. Smooth in his backpedal. Grazes turf and does a good job of clicking his feet and breaking on routes. Jones has a good understanding of playing receivers in his zone and adjusting. Plays with his head on a swivel and does a good job of reading routes and picking up the right receiver in his area.

Closing Quickness: Jones has terrific closing quickness. Does a great job of planting and driving on route breaks. Jones doesn’t get stacked often out of the slot. When he does, he has the make up speed to close and get back in phase.

Key & Diagnose: Jones does a good job of reading quarterbacks in zone coverage and reading receiver releases in man. Plays with good anticipation and is under control when making a read and jumping the play. Jones is a high I.Q corner who plays with good instincts.

Lateral Pursuit: Jones can fly. Moves well laterally. His closing speed is most evident when he runs laterally. Does a good job of navigating traffic and gets to the ball.

Tackling: Jones is a physical tackler for his size. Willing to fight through blocks and get to the ball. Does a good job of breaking down, driving his shoulder through ball carriers and wrapping up. Loves contact and playing physical for his size.

Ball Skills: Jones has played receiver as well so it speaks to just how good his ball skills are. He is overmatched at times against bigger receivers, especially in the red zone but he does a good job of competing for the ball and breaking a receivers hands and dislodging the ball.

Final Thoughts: Jones is a highly competitive player who is smart and has elite athletic traits. Factor in his ability to return kicks and you can see why Bill Belichick likes him.

Jones started his career at Troy. He has had to overcome some adversity in his college career and he has. His leadership qualities are off the chart.

From a player standpoint, Jones checks off a lot of boxes and in many ways, is the ideal Patriot.