Chris Jones, DL
School: Mississippi State | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 310 lbs.
pSparq: 107.4 / NFL %: 39.6
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Fletcher Cox
Chris Jones has a bland, common name. His play on the football field is anything but. Jones was ranked the 2nd overall player in the country in his college recruiting class but chose to commit to his hometown team, the Mississippi State Bulldogs. His freshman year was excellent for an interior lineman, posting seven tackles for loss and three sacks, which earned him an All-SEC honorable mention. His sophomore season was a significant regression; Jones failed to start a single game, playing in a 4-man rotation with current Washington Redskin Preston Smith. He believes the reason for his sophomore slump was because the defensive line was stacked with talent and coaches rotated playing time. Jones however bounced back in a major way his true junior season, starting all 13 games and recording 44 total tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks and 4 pass breakups. Chris Jones' college statistics are eerily similar to another former Mississippi State Bulldog who is now one of the NFL's best 3-4 ends: Fletcher Cox.
- His excellent length and natural power allows him to easily shed blocks and cause havoc in the backfield, whether it's corralling a runner for loss or harassing the quarterback
- Jones is a very fluid athlete with deceptive speed (former basketball player who ran a 5.03 40-yard dash at 310 pounds). His build and movement skills are very reminiscent of Preston Smith, albeit at 40 pounds heavier
- His huge hands (10 3/4") and long arms (34.5") are prototypical for defensive lineman to disengage blockers and swat down passes at the line of scrimmage
- Very versatile with ability to play tackle or end in an even (4-3) or odd (3-4) front
- Good football character and teammate, no off-field incidents or character concerns
- Consistently plays too high and eliminates leverage opportunities, needs to practice knee bend and lower pad level
- Gets winded when chasing plays from sideline to sideline, although shows hustle, needs to focus on NFL-level nutrition and conditioning
- Often gives up on generating pocket push/penetration when first move fails to work; generally needs to develop more pass-rushing moves
- Needs to secure his package high and tight to avoid slippage:
Chris Jones DL from Mississippi State is a 1st Round sleeper. Very good at collapsing the pocket. Needs to use proper pad level and leverage
— J.C. (@Era_Jonn) February 22, 2016
— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) February 21, 2016
Mississippi State DT Chris Jones still getting overlooked as a first round candidate? Had a great finish to the season— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) February 1, 2016
Chris Jones throws this guard down with one arm. Overpowering. https://t.co/CIiIuQmDdn— Terry Lambert (@TLambertFB) February 25, 2016
@MikeMayock thoughts on Chris Jones DT Miss St. One of my favorite players in the draft. He's getting slept on a bit. He's gonna be a stud— Dean Bush (@PFF_Dean) February 18, 2016
Mississippi St. DT Chris Jones is so dang powerful. Don't see how there's not more hype there— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 16, 2016
Top Graded interior DL this season (via PFF):— Vincent Ronca (@Vinnie_Ronca) January 22, 2016
1. Jonathan Bullard
2. Chris Jones
3. Jarran Reed
4. Jonathan Allen
5. Robert Nkemdiche
How He Fits on The Redskins
Chris Jones is the perfect size for a 3-4 defensive end, serves a big need, and at only 21 years old, has the potential to continue growing his already impressive physical and technical skill set for years and years. I have been a big Chris Jones fan since I started watching college tape back in October and November, and he's just now getting first round recognition. His first-step quickness and penetration ability is such a rare trait for a 300-pound human being that he warrants discussion in the same group of "hot" prospects like Robert Nkemdiche, Sheldon Rankins, Jonathan Bullard and Andrew Billings.
I think Redskins fans will be very happily surprised if we select Jones 21st overall or with our second round pick. I could see him having a similar impact on our run defense and pass rush as Preston Smith did last year; rising above more hyped rookies as the season wears on and he becomes accustomed to the pro game. One thing that worries me is Jones' maturity. My impression of him is a genuinely good-hearted guy that loves football and has tremendous natural talent; however I believe he needs a strong coaching support network to stay on track. I could see Jones having issues with maintaining a healthy weight and training regimen. This seemed to be an issue in college evidenced by the statistical swings between his freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Scot and the front office brass need to be confident in their ability to help Jones grow if they're going to invest a high draft pick. Jones has the potential to replace Hatcher's vital role of the pass-rushing 5-tech defensive end in our 3-4 Under front. A three man line of Chris Baker, Chris Jones, and our yet-to-be-named nose tackle (Vernon Butler in the 2nd or DJ Reader in the 3rd, anyone?) could be a fearsome trio for years to come.