Name: D.J. Jones
Position fit: Defensive tackle
Stats to know: 18 run stops in 2015 and 13 run stops in 2016.
What he does best:
- Wins inside with lateral agility to get around blockers in a hurry.
- Highly effective on stunts and has the range to stunt more than one gap over.
- Stays after plays and will make impressive tackles in pursuit for a big man.
- Effective swim move to routinely get around guards and centers.
- Good instincts to recognize he is being let upfield on screens.
- Plays with good low pad level and can really get under a blocker’s pads.
- Uses his peripheral vision to avoid blocks while finding the ball on misdirection plays.
- Agility and balance to avoid cut blocks and stay in the play.
- Can use his natural leverage advantage to win quickly in the engagement.
- Has the quickness to play one-gap techniques or the shedding ability to play two-gaps.
- Graded positively as a pass-rusher and a run-defender for two-straight seasons.
- Pass-rush wasn’t consistent and came in spurts during the season.
- Overall grades dipped significantly after Week 1 game against Florida State.
- Has only played 47 percent of defensive snaps each of the last two seasons.
- Needs more pass-rush moves other than his effective swim move.
- Only two sacks, one hit and six hurries on 208 pass-rush snaps in 2016.
Player comparison: Vernon Butler, Carolina Panthers
Jones’s build and foot quickness and ability to stunt and generate pass-rush pressure is similar to a shorter Butler. Jones won’t be drafted as highly as Butler was selected by the Panthers but he can provide rotational snaps with a similar style of play.
Bottom line: Jones plays with a naturally low pad level and when combined with his height gives him a natural leverage advantage over taller offensive linemen. Jones can play rotational snaps on the interior of defensive line and if he can generate a more consistent pass-rush could possibly push for a starting role down the line. Jones is worth investing a Day 3 pick in the draft.