Patriots Trade Up For 21st Pick, Draft DE Chandler Jones
BOSTON (CBS) – The New England Patriots pulled off a few draft night trades, moving up twice in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Patriots first traded up for the 21st overall pick, drafting defensive end Chandler Jones of Syracuse.
The selection should help the Patriots pass-rush, as the 6-5, 247 lb Jones totaled 30 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season, and totaled 147 tackles and 10 sacks in three years for the Orange.
Jones was limited to seven games last season due to a knee injury.
New England sent the 27th overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals, acquired from the New Orleans Saints in last year’s draft, and a third round selection in this years draft.
The Patriots also traded for the 25th pick from the Denver Broncos, drafting linebacker Dont’a Hightower from Alabama. The Pats sent the 31st overall pick and their fourth round selection to Denver in the trade.
With their two trades, the Patriots have only their two second round picks remaining in the 2012 draft.
Here is a transcript of Jones’s conference call with reporters after he was selected.
Q: Congratulations. What was that moment like to get the call from Bill Belichick and then to hear the Commissioner say your name?
CJ: I was excited. To hear Roger Goodell say my name, that’s just a dream come true and I’m excited to be a Patriot.
Q: One of your brothers already plays in the NFL. Have you talked to him about what it’s like and how it’s different than being a college athlete?
CJ: Yeah, actually my brother Arthur [Jones] has taught me a lot going through this whole draft process. He was basically telling me that the way I carry myself off the field, I’m not just representing myself, I’m representing the organization. I feel like having a brother that’s in the NFL is a great advantage.
Q: Do you ever fight with your brother [UFC fighter] Jon [Jones]?
CJ: Do I ever fight with Jon? No, we don’t fight at all.
Q: Is that a tactical move on your part?
CJ: Yeah, it is. He’s a professional fighter; that’s what he’s paid to do and I respect that.
Q: What did you do last weekend for his fight?
CJ: I was there. I was in Atlanta. I was sitting there with my brother Arthur. We were front row and supporting him. It was one of his toughest fights and I thank God that he came out with a win.
Q: How much have teams talked to you about potentially moving to an outside linebacker spot in a 3-4?
CJ: To be honest with you, I’m just excited to be in this defense. I have no idea where I’m going to play. I’m going to play wherever coach tells me to play and I’m just ready to learn this playbook.
Q: Is that something you did in college at all, dropping into pass defense?
CJ: In college I played at every position; I played at almost all positions. Making the transition to the NFL, my biggest thing right now is just to learn this defense and get that brotherhood bond with the rest of the guys on that defense.
Q: What kind of contact did you have with the Patriots before the draft? Did you have any kind of workout with them or come here to Foxborough for a meeting?
CJ: I talked to the Patriots. I talked with them at the Combine. That was the most formal thing we did. That’s basically it. We talked at the combine. Coach Belichick is a great coach and I’m excited to be a Patriot.
Q: You might have to do better than that. We talked to Dont’a Hightower and he called Belichick a “genius” so you might need to start sucking up sooner.
CJ: That’s a good one. That’s a good one.
Q: How much weight would you like to add? That’s been one thing people have mentioned as something you need to do to compete at the NFL level. Do you see that as a priority in getting ready for your rookie year?
CJ: I have no idea. Whatever weight Coach Belichick wants me to weigh, that’s what I’m going to strive hard to weigh when I come in and set foot on the scale for the first time. But I have no idea where I’m going to weigh or what weight I’m going to be, whatever coach wants me to weigh, that’s what I’m going to try to weigh.
Q: Is there any particular NFL player that you model your play after?
CJ: Yeah, Julius Peppers is a great player. Oliver Smith is another great guy that I kind of model my game after. They have the same kind of playing style.
Q: Your brother has a great nickname. Do you have one?
CJ: Do I have a nickname? No, no I don’t at all. My brother is Jon “Bones” Jones, but my name is just Chandler Jones.
Q: How familiar are you with Dont’a Hightower?
CJ: I met Dont’a Hightower at the Combine and we joked around a little bit and we said ‘What if we were to land on the same team?’ and it actually happened, so I can’t wait to see him tomorrow.
Q: You had 4.5 sacks last year. What would you say to people who criticize that production?
CJ: You know what? I feel like no matter what I do, there’s always going to be someone critiquing what I’m doing. Coach Belichick picked me for a reason and I’m excited and I’m happy that I’m a Patriot now.