Name: Jarron Jones
School: Notre Dame
Position: Played nose tackle in college, but has the frame to play 5-technique
Stats to know: Ranked 11th in the FBS in run-stop percentage.
What he does best:
- Excellent bull rushing, displays the requisite strength and hand placement to drive OL into the backfield.
- Eight of 16 pressures came from bull rushes in 2016.
- Playmaker on the backside of zone, wrecked Miami’s outside zone with penetration.
- Delivers a powerful initial strike, possesses the size (6-foot-5, 320 pounds) NFL teams will covet.
- Finds passing lanes to bat down passes.
- Flashes the ability to use his length to shed blocks and make plays in the run game.
- Decimated by down blocks, consistently widened at the point of attack.
- Plays with poor leverage, frequently plays high losing control against blockers.
- Weak anchor against double teams, frequently bullied by multiple blockers.
- Poor cut0block recognition, opens gaping backside lanes.
- Poor instincts, will over-pursue plays losing contain.
- Sluggish off the ball. Occasionally gets a good jump.
- Registered multiple plays unblocked.
- Concerning production on the frontside, often turned and eliminated from plays.
- Injury prone, missed the majority of the 2015 season.
Player comparison: Earl Mitchell, Miami Dolphins
Mitchell belongs with a rare species of nose tackles that excel as pass-rushers, in contrast to their performance against the run. While the body types are different, Jones projects to do the same in the pros. He has an NFL frame and physique, but needs plenty of work on his technique and feel for the run game to become an adequate interior defender at the point of attack.
Bottom line: Jones is tough to project because of an injury-marred college career. He missed all but one game his junior year recovering from an MCL tear, as well as suffering a Lisfranc injury in his time at Notre Dame. His senior tape is underwhelming, particularly his performances against the run, but the flashes of brilliance toward the end of the year suggest he was steadily recovering from the injuries. Jones is certainly a powerful bull-rusher, an asset likely to attract interest from NFL evaluators.