FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the first things that stands out when you look at Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones is his size -- 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, with 35.5-inch arms.
That's prototypical size that the Patriots look for an edge player in their system.
There weren't many players in the draft with that type of size. These are rare traits. Jones didn't have off-the-charts production in college, so this pick comes with a projection of sorts.
One scout who worked on Jones told me he didn't have him rated as a first-rounder, in part because of his production, but loved everything about him from a complete package perspective. He described him as one of the safest picks among the ends in this draft.
The Patriots have a big hole at right defensive end in their even front, where Andre Carter and Mark Anderson played last season. Jones potentially could slide right into that spot.
If the Patriots are in a base 3-4 defense, one question will be how well Jones potentially drops in coverage as an outside linebacker. He seems too light to project as an end in that scheme. But with the Patriots playing sub between 65-70 percent of the time, the thought of Jones in a variety of roles up front is enticing.
Under Bill Belichick, the Patriots haven't traded up in the first round since 2003. The rookie wage scale might have played a small role in the move this year, although the move from 27 to 21 doesn't have a huge financial component to it. The club dealt a third-rounder to move up.
The Patriots just landed an intriguing athlete. Exciting move for a defense that was in need of a spark in its front seven.