On Friday, May 6th Patriots second round pick Cyrus Jones was introduced to the media and presented with the ceremonial #1 jersey as the Patriots first pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. Check out behind-the-scenes photos as Jones meets the Krafts and more.
When the top draft choice arrives for the first time in Foxborough, he's led down to the Gillette Stadium game field by Patriots owner and president. There, in front of reporters, cameras, and microphones, the player is presented with a No. 1 jersey, signifying his status in that year's draft class.
This year, Cyrus Jones was treated to the honor, but Robert Kraft also took the opportunity to break some numerical news.
"Cyrus will be wearing a special number to our family, number 24," he told the assembled media. "There's a lot of good karma that comes with that number."
"Definintely a lot of history, guys like Ty Law, Darrelle Revis – great defensive backs and great players," Jones remarked about his assigned digits. "There's definitely a legacy behind the number, and I want to make my own legacy with the number."
The former Alabama cornerback came to town on Thursday after what he described as a "whirlwind" week and "a dream come true," having been selecting by the Patriots. A Baltimore native, Jones admitted growing up a Ravens fan, but called his new employers "the best organization in the National Football League."
"Any time [the Ravens] played the Patriots, I was scared of Tom Brady. I'm just honored to be part of his team. He's a winner. I'm looking forward to working with him."
Jones added that he's also anxious to prove himself as a punt return specialist the way he did for the Crimson Tide throughout his college career. However, he already seems to understand the so-called "Patriot Way" of not thinking too far ahead or taking anything for granted.
"To have Coach [Bill] Belichick and Mr. Kraft see something in me to want to give me an opportunity to come make this football team better means the world to me," added Jones. "My plan is to be humble, work hard from day one, earn the respect of the veterans in the locker room, and earn the trust of my coaches. It's time to play football now… and win games. I can't wait."
For the past week or so, New England's weather has been damp, overcast, and unseasonably cold. Yet, as is tradition on this particular day for the Patriots, the clouds conveniently parted and the sun shone brightly just as Jones made his entrance on the field.
"It's pretty nice right now," Jones smiled, looking up at the patch of blue sky overhead. "Wish I could stay out here."
He'll get that chance soon enough.