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On Friday night, the New England Patriots forced a Texas two-step. In the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected cornerback Marcus Jones from the University of Houston with the 85th overall pick, following their second-round selection of Baylor receiver Tyquan Thornton (50th overall).

Before moving to Houston and sitting out a year, Jones played two seasons at Troy University in 2017 and 2018. He then suited up for the Cougars in 2020 and 2021.

Jones, who is 5′ 8″ and weighs 174 pounds, was a consensus all-American return specialist in 2021 after returning two kickoffs and two punts for scores. In addition to leading Houston to a 12–2 record and a victory in the Birmingham Bowl over Auburn, he was responsible for five interceptions, thirteen pass deflections, 47 tackles, and a sack.

As a senior with the Cougars, Jones, who is from Enterprise, Alabama, caught 10 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. He was awarded the Paul Hornung Award in 2021 for being the most versatile player in the country, an award that was previously given to his new colleague on the Patriots, Jabrill Peppers, in 2016.

Jones is the third player picked by Bill Belichick from the University of Houston’s football program. Sebastian Vollmer, who finished 58th overall in 2009, and Elandon Roberts were the previous two (214th, 2016).