Reshad Jones – Georgia
Scout: David Syvertsen
Pro Potential: Darren Sharper – New Orleans Saints
Agility/Hips: Can turn and run well. Short steps allow him to turn north south with balance and quickness. Does not change direction well when moving laterally. Struggles cut with a receiver in man coverage.
Ball Skills: Drops a lot of easy interceptions. Has developed nice timing in jumping throws and can break up a lot of passes, but does not end up with sure-thing interceptions. Lets the ball get in to his body, does not follow the ball in to his hands.
Body Control: Maintains balance downfield in coverage. Will lose his feet when trying to stick with a receiver underneath. Does a nice job of leaping for jump balls, gathers his weight and gets the most out of his jump.
Instincts/Recognition: Plays the run better than most linebackers in terms of diagnosing running lanes and attack the line of scrimmage. Reads his keys effectively and is rarely caught out of position. Does not do well in single high coverage, late to read the quarterback’s intended receiver.
Pass Coverage: Has plenty of experience in man coverage. High in his back pedal and does not explode in breaks against crossing routes. Does not have the range to play a single high Cover 1 role, but can be trusted as a Cover 2 safety. Anticipates routes and lanes well.
Pursuit: Outstanding pursuit. Consistently takes the proper angles to meet the ball carrier at the point where he can deliver a blow. Is rarely caught out of position against the run. Uses his length to ensure ball carries will not get by him when pursuing laterally.
Run Support: The best part of Jones’ game. He is comfortable as the eighth man in the box and has enough size and strength to handle the physical part of the game in traffic. Plays downhill with aggression. Sure tackler that can take down a ball carrier by himself.
Speed: Does not have elite speed downfield, can be beat deep. Has the long strides to aid him with recovery, but his lack of top end speed can be exploited against the faster receivers.
Tackling: Sure tackler that can be depended upon as the last line of defense with confidence. Shows proper technique and makes the effort to wrap up and drive the ball carrier through the ground. Has had more than his fair share of bone-jarring hits. Will make receivers think twice about going over the middle. Really lays the wood and consistently knocks the ball carrier backward.
Final Word: Jones is a safety that is NFL ready from the physical point of view. He plays with the kind of downhill aggression that every team wants in an enforcer over the middle. He is a guy that always find himself in or near the action, getting in on a lot of turnovers and big plays. He is not the kind of safety that can be trusted with a lot of coverage responsibility but his length and instincts will be enough to get him in the every down defense early in his career. If he can be put in to a system that allows him to play downhill and in man coverage against tight ends, Jones will thrive. He is of the 2nd round type that teams will look to as the kind of high reward pick in terms of immediate payback.