FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After nearly a decade of fans clamoring for the Patriots to draft a pass rusher in the first round, the Patriots finally did just that on Thursday evening, selecting Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones with the 21st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
While time will tell if the comparison holds true, Jones told reporters on Thursday night that he models his game after two of the best pass rushers in the NFL last season.
"[Bears defensive end] Julius Peppers is a great player. [49ers defensive end] Aldon Smith is another great guy that I model my game after," Jones said. "They have the same kind of playing style."
Jones' brother Arthur is a 305-pound defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, while another brother, Jon 'Bones' Jones, is a Ultimate Fighting Championship martial artist.
"My brother Arthur has taught me a lot going through this whole draft process," Jones said. "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."
At 6-foot-5, 266 pounds, Jones' best fit is as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, although he told reporters on Thursday night that he "played at almost all positions" at Syracuse and would be open to playing at whatever weight the Patriots want him.
"Coach Belichick picked me for a reason, and I'm excited and happy that I'm a Patriot now," Jones said.