When Syracuse Orange defensive end Chandler Jones announced that he was forgoing his senior season for the NFL Draft, a lot of fans wondered how high he could conceivably go.
Third or fourth round seemed to be the general consensus and we didn't see anything to dispute that. Even if that was his ceiling it still made sense since he watched his brother drop to the fifth round following a senior year injury.
But how does the sound of Chandler Jones being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft grab you? Cause it seems to grab Todd McShay just fine:
"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."
Um...wow. Jones played in seven games this season, collecting 30 solo tackles, 7 1/2 tackles for a loss, 4 1/2 sacks and All-Big East First-Team honors. Decent numbers given his injury but nothing that would lead you to believe he was a first-rounder. Perhaps there's some untapped potential that folks like McShay are starting to recognize. Of course, when he's healthy, Chan-Chan is a beast. I suppose so long as he remains as such, he can go pretty high.