Obviously one of the players with the most attention on him from now right on through the regular season will be top pick Chandler Jones. Beyond simply being the team's first first-round pick, he's also the first playmaker on the edge that Bill Belichick has taken atop the draft.
Theoretically, he fills the team's biggest need. The comparisons to Willie McGinest and Jason Pierre-Paul are already being bandied about. And Jones himself says he models his own style after Julius Peppers and Aldon Smith.
Pretty high expectations for a guy who had just 10 sacks in his Syracuse career and never had more than five in a season. But according to his position coach with the Orange, the expectations should be pretty high. In some ways Tim Daoust came to the realization of just how good his now former player was in the pre-draft process as Jones' stock was on the rise.
"The more phone calls that rolled in and the more tape that I reflected upon watching Chandler, I said, 'Holy smokes, maybe we didn't know how good we had it. Because he was certainly a great player for us and a dynamic young man. I think NFL teams saw what we saw, that he's a kid that's going to continually get better," Daoust said.
Daoust knows that Jones will have to take everything to a higher level in the NFL. That includes things like maturity and work ethic off the field, as well as getting stronger and better with his hand placement and technique on it. But the coach has little doubt that Jones is up to the challenge.
"I think every time you jump from level to level, from high school to college and from college to the NFL, there is a whole other level of maturity that's demanded of your on the field and off the field. And I think Chandler has the tools do that and getting into a model franchise like New England I think that will be demanded of him very quickly and get around guys in that locker room that will help him do that. He'll have to take his work ethic to another level," Daoust said.
"But Chandler, one of his strong points is his ability to learn and take coaching. If you tell him something, 'hey, Chandler you need to improve this,' he will take to it immediately and get to work on it."
That work begins this week in Foxborough. And everyone — from Todd McShay and Mike Mayock to his college coach – agree that the sky is the limit for Jones.
To read much more from Daoust on Jones, check out the most recent Patriots Football Weekly on newsstands now. To subscribe to PFW call 1-800-494-PATS or go to pfwonline.com.
Just how good do you think Jones can be? Which comparison for Jones' potential do you think is most apt? Let us know with a comment below!