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Better Know a Draft Prospect: East Michigan Defensive End Jason Jones

The least you should know about Jason Jones...
Height
6-5
Weight
262 lbs
40 Yard Dash
4.76
20 Yard Dash
2.88
Bench Reps
18
3 Cone
7.75
Compares To:
MICHAEL MYERS-Cincinnati: "Like Myers, Jones is a bit of a tweener, as he lacks bulk and ideal lower body strength to play inside and is too inconsistent with his pass rush moves to be an impact edge rusher. He is very good at run containment, but you would think that a player with his incredibly long arms could get more pass break-ups than he has. He lacks pass rush moves, relying more on a clean release from the outside or squeezing through the gaps to impact the pocket. Still, he has been productive vs. the ground game and later in the draft, he is worth a pick to see if he can develop into a starter at end or tackle. At worst, he will provide decent back-up depth. "
Fun Fact Interview
Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why? Barry Sanders. He was exciting..

In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit? No one. Ball State QB Nate Davis

What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day? Fresh Prince or Martin

What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod? Lil' Wayne songs, Mary M. Blige -- Just Fine

What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why? Denzel Washington because he is simply great..

What is one thing your teammates don't know about you? Nothing.

What reality TV show would you like to be on and why? Real World so I can act a fool.

What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field? Receiving 1st team All-MAC 2007. Being invited to talk at my high school football banquet.

When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team? Cowboys, Jaguars, Packers.

Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how? High school football coach Stephon Thompson.

Better Know a Draft Prospect: East Michigan Defensive End Jason Jones

Introduction:

Much of our focus on defensive ends has revolved around which first round prospect would be around when the Jaguars select at pick 26.  We've mulled Phillip Merling and Calais Campbell, we've thought about how a prospect like Quentin Groves would fit in the Jaguars system.  What is lost in all the first round hype is that despite the lack of depth at defensive end in this draft, there are later round prospects.  Sure, they are not as polished and ready to go on the first day of the season, but with coaching and rotation they can be the right player at the right time.  There's nothing to be gained by hopelessly reaching of forcing a poorly suited player (i.e. a 3-4 outside linebacker) into the Jaguars' system.  If when the Jaguars time to pick comes and the best available player isn't our biggest need, it's inappropriate for the team to reach more than a few spots.  Value is a tricky concept when it comes to drafting.  I'm not so unrealistic as to hold to best available player dogma,  if a player that fills a need is within 5 or 6 spots, with only some exceptions, I'd advocate reaching.  If it's 7-10 spots away, then you have to take the highest player on the value board.  

This is why teams spend so much time scouting all year round.  You can't assume that you'll fill your needs in the first round or two, you'll have to identify players with potential even if they're less than ready for the NFL today.  One example of this is Jason Jones of East Michigan University.   Jones started at Tight End for the East Michigan Eagles, but shifted to defensive tackle early in his freshman year.  After establishing himself to his coaches as a run-stuffer, they moved him to the outside to use his quickness against quarterbacks and in the backfield.  He quickly accrued 14 sacks and 50 stops for losses, this for a guy who came to the school to play offense.  

He is one of the more athletic defensive ends in the draft, but he has the size to match in order to play defensive end.     Jones will have to increase his bulk a bit to be a three down defensive end, but he's got the quickness to attack the quarterback.  Coaching and careful monitoring in the weight room could make Jones into a "Jaguars" type lineman with a nasty streak and the ability to play end and tackle as needed.  Nothing's better than having a guy on your roster that can fill multiple holes.

Video Killed the Scouting Report:

Jason Jones: By the Numbers

We probably wouldn't be talking about Jason Jones were it not for his combine numbers.  Not to call him a workout warrior like Mike Mamula, but he showed that he's got some serious quickness with his 4.76 40-yard dash, 1.59 10-yard split time, and 2.73 20 yard-split.  A ten foot broad jump, 7.29 3-cone drill offset his disappointing 18 bench reps and 25.5 vertical jump.  Remember though, you can't coach speed.  It's why scouts and coaches tell you that the 40 time is unimportant but stop everything to watch them run it.    

Jones racked up 175 tackles while in school, with an amazing 101 of them marked as solo tackles.  He had 50 tackles for loss for a total of 194 lost yards and 14 sacks for 101 lost yards.  14 sacks, 18 pressures, and 4 fumbles (caused and recovered) illustrate his talent and ability, albeit against MAC level competition.  His only missed time came from a leg contusion and a strained MCL, a total of one game and a few series from another.  

He's got a huge arm length, 36 and 3/8th inches.  He can probably block a few kicks.

Notable Quotables:

None, actually.  Google let me down and led me to not a single quote by Jason Jones on the internets.  A shame, really.  I found this to be one of the more interesting aspects of writing these prospect reports.

Scouting Reports:

Positives

  • Scott Wright's NFL Draft Countdown: Excellent size and a solid frame...Very athletic...Great timed speed and quickness for his size...Versatile with experience at two positions...A hard worker with solid intangibles...Extremely productive and made a lot of impact plays behind the line...Interesting sleeper who really saw his stock soar throughout the 2007 season...It's still up in the air as to where exactly he will fit in at the pro level but teams will undoubtedly find a home for someone with his rare combo of triangle numbers and production.
  • NFL War Room:  Ideal NFL frame with the ability to add even more bulk...explosive first step off the ball...versatile player who actually had to play inside at defensive tackle as a senior...disruptive force in the backfield (over 50 TFL in 3 seasons)...good agility and a natural pass rusher for a man his size...ones is an intriguing small school prospect who is a tough projection due to the way he was used at Eastern Michigan. He has the frame to develop into a natural 4-3 left defensive end, even though some are projecting Jones as a potential 3-4 OLB. He is certainly a player with a high upside, as his triangle numbers are solid and his production was decent considering he played out of position in college.
  • NFL Draft Scout: Lacks ideal bulk and has just adequate quickness, but displays excellent arm length to keep blockers away from his body...Lacks explosiveness off the snap, but has the functional speed to get into the gaps to disrupt the plays...When he keeps his hands active, he has good success in attaining leverage over the blocker and his long arms allow him to stack opponents at the line...Plays at a high motor and throws a lot of motion on the blockers, using his hands adequately to pull and jerk the blockers out of the way...Has shown improvement in maintaining separation on the move and zeroes in on the quarter-back with good urgency when attempting to close on the pocket...Better fit as a three-technique type, where he is able to control action inside when he keeps his pad level low...Has the short area quickness to chase down plays along the line and while he does not have a sudden burst, he gives a solid effort chasing from the backside.

Strong when locking up ball carriers working in space...Still a work in progress, but showed later in his senior year and at Senior Bowl practices that he can maintain block separation with his hands (must be more consistent with that hand usage to prevent the block-on over on the rush)...Has a good feel for the cadence and recognizes and diagnoses schemes up front... Will uncoil and wrap the ball carriers in short area pursuit...Has a nasty streak which is evident as he moves through trash.

Negatives

  • Scott Wright's NFL Draft Countdown: Might be a bit of a 'tweener without a true pro position...His physical tools will not be quite as impressive outside at end...Sack totals were surprisingly low...Did not always face top competition...Still a bit raw and hasn't mastered a single position.
  • NFL War Room:  May be a bit of a `tweener' without a true NFL position...needs to get stronger...needs to understand the use of leverage better, as he has a tendency to get too high...still raw as a pass rusher...boom or bust type prospect...
  • NFL Draft Scout: Lacks ideal bulk to play inside at tackle, but his frame might be reaching maximum growth potential (more weight could impact one of his better assets - his quickness, which is good for a tackle, but adequate for end)...Despite his timed speed, he does not generate explosiveness off the snap (gets most of his tackles from the three-tech) when playing on the edge and is sometimes just a step slow getting to the quarter-back when he has to take a wide loop to the ball...Must learn better hand placement and keep them active longer, as he tends to short arm when he should be executing counter moves in attempts to disengage...Has to improve his lower body strength, as he struggles to split double teams...When he gets too high in his stance, his base narrows and along with marginal hand placement, he can get walked back from the play (has outstanding arm reach, but fails to use it consistently)...Best when attacking the backfield rather than flowing to the perimeter, as he does not have the speed to give long pursuit...Prefers working at the line of scrimmage and shooting inside gaps rather that using his closing speed to pursue from the back side coming off the edge...Appears uncomfortable moving through traffic, as he tends to get too high in his stance, causing him to be knocked off-balance...Looks a bit awkward coming out of his stance when playing head-up over the center, as he does not clear his feet properly...Just marginal when trying to deflect the pass at the line of scrimmage, failing to use his long reach to get a piece of the low trajectory throws...More of a bull rusher, as he does not show efficient spin or swim moves and his club move consists of just one shot (fails to reset his hands for counter moves).

Why should he be on the Jacksonville Jaguars?

I like Jason Jones because he can be built into the type of defensive end we need rather than shoehorning a 3-4 outside linebacker into the same role.  I've had it with designated pass rushers.  I don't care how big our defensive ends are, as long as they can play three or four downs.  Some might accuse me of being biased against the smaller defensive ends, that's simply not the case.  If we can find a Dwight Freeney type end I'm all in.  But for where we are in the draft addressing the defensive line will take a little bit of imagination.  Jason Jones will not start on day one and solve our pass rush woes, but he will learn under some good coaches and earn a spot in the rotation.  Furthermore, he's a guy who can fill in as a defensive tackle should the situation arise, and you know how much I love a little depth on the line.  He's got all the elements of a solid draft pick.  Somewhere between the 3rd and 5th round, where we (as of now) have a schmorgasboard of draft picks.