Cyrus Jones said he’s confident every time he takes the field. (WEEI.com)
FOXBORO — Over the past few years, Patriots first-round picks have been able to make impacts in their first seasons in the league, most notably Malcom Brown and Dont’a Hightower.
This year it could be Cyrus Jones, as the cornerback has seen extensive time lining up inside Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler as the slot cornerback and also plenty of reps returning punts over the first two days of training camp.
Jones, an Alabama product, is confident he can contribute.
“I have ultimate confidence every time I step on the field,” Jones said. “Just the way the coaches prepare us and just being a competitor. It helps to have that confidence. The more prepared you are the more equipped you are to go out there and do your job at a high level. I’m definitely confident every time I step on the field.”
The Patriots struggled to find a No. 3 cornerback last season to play along with Ryan and Butler. Taking Jones in the first round is a sign the Patriots feel he could be that guy and potentially a top cornerback in a year or two.
“I feel pretty comfortable [in the slot],” Jones said. “I think I am comfortable everywhere I am on the football field. I just go out there and play my assignment, be in the right spot and make plays.”
With Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman as the primary punt returners in year’s past, the Patriots could go with Jones this year to take some of the pressure off the receivers, who have taken some big hits over the years.
“I’m really comfortable back there,” Jones said. “I did it in college, so just like all the other things, trying to come out here, listen to the coaching points and just be consistent. Not drop any balls, have secure ball-handling and use my skills when I get the ball in my hands.”
Jones praised all the veterans for helping him in his first training camp and he’s just looking to get better every day.
“Just have to come in with the mindset of learn as much as you can, especially in the film room and try and come out here and apply the best you can on the field,” he said. “String good days together and continue to progress through camp and into the season.”