The Saints reportedly tried to get ahead of the Patriots, who had the 15th overall pick, to select Jones. They ultimately couldn’t find a business partner and Jones landed in New England where he would overtake Cam Newton for the starting position.
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Ahead of Sunday’s Patriots-Saints game, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton confirmed that the team has a high opinion of the Alabama product. He also shared his thoughts on what the rookie has shown in his first two games.
“I think it’s positive, really positive,” Payton told reporters Wednesday. “He was someone we were very high on. I think he processes the information quickly. In Alabama, if you watch his gang closely, the ball comes out, decisions are made quickly. I think he sees the terrain both horizontally and vertically. He has the arm to make the shots you want.
“His decision making and treatment are strong points for him and I think he’s handling it well. It’s not easy to come all of a sudden and start the first week as a rookie, but he’s a smart player. “
The Saints ended up moving up to 28th overall and selecting Houston defensive end Payton Turner. He made his NFL debut last week against the Carolina Panthers and had five tackles (three for a loss) and one sack. At QB, New Orleans rode with seven-year veteran Jameis Winston.
Jones took a conservative approach in his first two NFL games, earning him a 1-1 record to start the Patriots season. The 23-year-old completed 73.9% of his passes for 467 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
The Patriots-Saints will kick off Sunday at 1 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.