New England Patriots veteran cornerback Jonathan Jones was happy to see Christian Gonzalez’s name called off the board with the No. 17 overall pick of the 2023 NFL draft.
The Patriots had a clear need for a bigger outside corner with a high ceiling, and they arguably got the best one in this year’s draft. For Jones, it’s all about making the team good enough to win more games and get back to the playoffs.
When looking at the landscape in the AFC East, the Patriots are going to need all of the help they can get to accomplish that goal. The hope is that Gonzalez, along with the other new faces in the building, give them that boost.
“We need it,” Jones said on Tuesday, per NESN’s Zack Cox. “We need help. We need all the help that we can get. We’ve had a lot of transition at the position over the last few years.”
It isn’t just Gonzalez, either.
The Patriots also added Ameer Speed and Isaiah Bolden in the later rounds in hopes of improving their depth in the defensive backfield. Jones has his eye on all of the rookie defensive backs, and so far, he likes what he’s seeing from the newest roster additions.
“It’s Day 2 of them really being in,” said Jones. “They’ve come in, in the meetings, they’re trying to answer questions. They’re participating, and that’s a start. That’s a start. … All the guys have been in there. We’ve met them all. They’ve all just bought in — answering questions, asking questions and just trying to learn.”
Can the rookies learn fast and put it together on the football field consistently enough to make an immediate impact in the regular season?
The Patriots’ playoff hopes could depend on it.