BY SEAN DONOVAN
Jones, taken 21st overall, was one of two defensive players New England traded up for in the draft. The other was linebacker Dont'a Hightower.
Jones was signed to the standard rookie deal length of four years.
Jones is a long, athletic defensive end who was a three-year starter at Syracuse. He tallied 10 sacks and 147 tackles in his collegiate career. Injury forced him to miss five games in his junior year, and he declared for the NFL draft after the season was over.
The Patriots are hoping that he can develop into an elite pass rusher and help the defense improve on a second-to-last ranking in yardage allowed in 2011.
He will also play a big part in trying to replace the production of defensive end Mark Anderson, who signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Bills, and defensive end Andre Carter, who is yet to re-sign with the team. The duo accounted for 10 sacks apiece last season, or exactly half of the Patriots' 40 total QB takedowns.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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