6’4, 293 pounds | Syracuse | Defensive tackle
Pass rush: Because of the position he plays and an overall lack of great athleticism, Jones struggled at times getting after the passer. He doesn’t have a good counter move after his initial post-snap maneuver. Needs to learn how to use his hands better in the pass rush.
Pursuit: Jones is better suited in making plays in front of him instead of chasing down a ball carrier. It will be interesting to see how a recent knee injury impacts his pursuit ability.
Quickness: Jones is fairly quick off the snap. He’s really good at bursting through gaps and getting after the ball. Shows good snap anticipation.
Run defend: Keeps a good anchor against double teams. Has the leg drive to maintain his space. Big and strong enough to play nose in a 3-4 scheme. Showed he could be a factor against the run — see 2008 Notre Dame game.
Size: Officially listed by Syracuse as 6-foot-4 and 293 pounds. This season Jones looked much bigger. His frame appears to be maxed out, but he’s built very stout.
Strength: Powerful throughout his frame. As a senior was not affected by a torn pectoral muscle suffered in the summer. Was a high school state champion in wrestling and has great core strength, which makes him hard to move.
Tackling: When Jones get in on a play, he’s hard to avoid because he stays low while tackling. Can disengage from blockers and make one-arm tackles.
Technique: Too frequently comes off the snap high, which allows linemen to get under his pads. Needs to do a better job of dropping his butt and bending his knees to get leverage. Gets good placement but he could do a better job of hand fighting. Hand/arm jolt is good.
Versatility: Jones has the size and strength to play tackle in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. Syracuse used a three-man front in 2009 and Jones held the nose. While it limited some of Jones’ playmaking ability, he was still a factor, particularly against the run.
Final word: Jones is flying far below the radar, especially after Gerald McCoy and Brian Price declared and Dan Williams emerged. But also causing the low profile are some serious injury concerns. He tore a pectoral muscle in the 2009 offseason and saw his senior year shortened by a torn left lateral meniscus.
Jones is an attractive prospect because his ability to play the 3-4 or 4-3. This would allow teams the luxury of presenting different looks on defense.
Jones’ injuries may have knocked him out of the first 50 picks of the draft, but he’s a very good player. Despite his injuries, Big East head coaches named him a first-team all-conference player in 2009.
Comes from an athletic family. His brother is UFC star-in-the-making Jon “Bones” Jones.