Baltimore native and former Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday. A Gilman graduate, Jones was the Patriots first pick in the draft, at No. 60 overall.
At 5-10 and 197 pounds, Jones is ideally suited as a slot corner who could be challenged when matched up against taller receivers on the outside. But he has solid fundamentals and his proven ability as a return specialist adds to his value.
Jones finished this past season with 37 tackles and two interceptions for the Crimson Tide and 108 tackles, seven interceptions and 25 passes defensed over three seasons as a defensive back.
Jones, who began his collegiate career as a receiver before moving to cornerback as a sophomore, led the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision this past year and set an Alabama single-season record with four punt return touchdowns.
“Returning is a specialized thing,” Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said earlier this month when discussing Jones. “A lot of guys can’t do it, especially punts. It’s very hard to catch punts. So the guys that can do it and are good at it, I mean, that’s additional value for sure.”
The Ravens were interested in Jones, and he impressed them at their local pro day, but now the Baltimore native is headed to New England of all places.