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Patriot Country

Two Patriots Earn All-Rookie Team

By Mike D'Abate,


New England's rookies continue to earn praise for some stellar performances during the 2022 regular season.

FOXBORO — The New England Patriots 2022 rookie class continues to gain its share of well-deserved recognition.

While left guard Cole Strange, cornerback Jack Jones, quarterback Bailey Zappe and wide receiver Tyquan Thornton performed well enough to cultivate notable hope for the future, two in particular have been honored for turning in standout showings during their first year in the NFL.

The Pro Football Writers of America PFWA announced Tuesday that defensive backs Brenden Schooler (special teams) and Marcus Jones (punt returner) earned respective selections to their All-Rookie Team .

New England was one of seven teams to field two players on the squad.

Schooler was one of two undrafted rookies (the other being defensive end DaMarcus Mitchell) to make the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster out of training camp -- thus extending a streak of 19 years. He finished the season tied for second among Patriots' special teamers by logging 330 snaps. The 25-year-old led the kicking unit with 14 tackles through 16 games. Schooler missed only one game, New England's Week 18 loss to the Buffalo Bills, due to a hip injury. The rookie free agent compiled 14 tackles and two fumble recoveries. He also recovered a blocked punt against the Indianapolis Colts.

Schooler was sorely missed in the regular-season finale, when the Pats surrendered to long kickoff returns for touchdowns in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Having already secured a place on the All-AFC and All-NFL teams in addition to being named an Associated Press (AP) first-team All-Pro , Jones is most highly-decorated of his first-year teammates. The Pats lone third-round (85 overall) led the NFL with 362 yards gained from 29 punt returns for an average of 12.5 yards per. In addition to his game-winning 84-yard return for touchdown in Week 11 against the New York Jets, Jones also ranked seventh in the NFL with a 23.9-yard kickoff return average, while finishing fifth in total kick return yards.

The PFWA has awarded an All-Rookie team every season since 1974.

Follow Mike D’Abate on Twitter @ mdabateNFL and Listen/Subscribe to his daily podcast: Locked On Patriots

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