I thought we may go with a Linebacker theme with the Senior Bowl player profiles today. Let’s start with Greg Jones the 6’1, 240 lbs ILB out of Michigan State.
First off, Jones is the first player since 1966 at MSU to be named a consensus first team All-American in back to back years. Jones has also been a first team All-Big Ten member for three years. Jones’s biggest strength, I would say, is in the pass rush. He is great at finding a gap, hitting that gap, and pursuing the QB or RB, especially in 3rd down situations. He is also tremendous from sideline to sideline, and is relentless in pursuing the ball carrier. Jones is a tremendous leader and was voted captain by his peers for MSU this year. Coach Dantonio has said Jones is his one of his hardest workers on and off the field. Another big plus is Jones has started 46 of his 52 college games, with 40 consecutive starts.
Cons...I would say Jones has two major downfalls. He’s slightly undersized so he can get pushed around in the run game if it is directed right at him. The other would be when he takes a bad angle at the ball carrier, he lacks the athleticism to recover and make up for the mistake.
Senior Bowl Practice Reviews:
Michigan State LB Greg Jones showed tightness and lack of athleticism throughout the day, especially playing in space. He was exposed in one-on-one coverage drills with RBs. He struggled when he had to quickly change momentum off cuts and was often trailing the RBs and out of position. He has a good motor and shows good instincts. When he can quickly recognize and find the ball between tackles, he does not have a problem getting in position to make the stop. We question if he can consistently get off blocks and make plays outside the tackle box. (via ESPN Insider)
Projected Pick: Jones will most likely go in the 2nd round; he could sneak into the 1st with a good week in Mobile and at the combine. There is a lot of debate on who is the best ILB in this draft. Some say Martez Wilson (Illinois), some say Jones, others, like myself, say its Quan Sturdivant from UNC.