Justin Jones, DL
School: NC State | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 309 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th Round or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Brandon Mebane
Justin Jones’ teammates Bradley Chubb and B.J. Hill got all the attention at the combine but Jones is an impressive prospect in his own right. The former 4-star recruit out of Austell, Georgia received a lot of offers but ultimately committed to N.C. State. His teammates on the defensive line have impressed in their athletic testing but Jones is no slouch when it comes to his own athleticism. I think Jones is a more effective DL prospect than his teammate B.J. Hill. He uses his strength, power, and athleticism to disrupt the backfield. Like his counterpart, he is still figuring out how to develop strategy and put things all together but there are things I like about his game. Jones plays with good power and strength and can stand his ground against linemen trying to move him. He has decent technique with his hands and every once in awhile he does a good job at shedding blocks and even fought through a few double teams. Still, he gets too caught up at times fighting with the offensive lineman. I would like to see a bit more explosion from him off the snap. Also, he needs to find the ball more consistently and his technique overall will need refinement. Jones offers upside as a rotational lineman and could transition well as a 3-4 DE.
- Good size, strength, and athleticism for the position.
- Can overpower lineman with his strength and bull rush move. His lower half help him plow through blocks to create interior pressure.
- Plays with good motor and effort and was there to make and clean up several plays.
- Hand usage is hit or miss but when he is able to chain moves together he can effectively get off blocks and split some double teams.
- Still figuring out how to put things together. He’ll need a lot of improvement with his technique and consistency to be effective in the NFL. He’ll need to start with chaining his moves together more often and getting off blocks against the run.
- When his initial moves don't work he gets caught up with the linemen and it seems like he doesn't know what to do next.
- Not a very flexible guy on the field and rushes in a straight line. Some plays are missed because he can’t bend or goes past his target.
- Lacks the burst needed to consistently penetrate into the backfield. Plays a bit too upright and can lose leverage battles because he pops up.
Let’s see his work:
Justin Jones had himself a nice game last year vs ND... Showed quickness off ball and some hand usage, just couldn’t finish the play... pic.twitter.com/Cja1yOCRq5— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 8, 2018
Heavy hands... Justin Jones bull rushes the left guard back into the quarterback, forcing him to bail out of there. pic.twitter.com/iIMADOAfx9— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) February 20, 2018
NC State defensive tackle Justin Jones (#27) was one of my favorite players to watch in Mobile. His disruption on tape matches up. pic.twitter.com/r2ywM0pF39— Jonah Tuls (@JonahTulsNFL) February 20, 2018
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
The Redskins still need to add a playmaker and depth to the defensive line. Jones is the latter but has the potential to flash the former. He’s a developmental rotational prospect but he has shown some good things to scouts during this draft process. I’m still in favor of the Redskins taking two linemen in this draft one as a potential starter and a later round pick as a rotational player. A player like Jones could come in and contribute as a 3-4 DE using the roster spot currently being all but wasted by Terell McClain. Jones also has some upside to his game and with some coaching and development could round out his skill set to offer both pass rush and run defending value. He has the common weaknesses you see out of day 3 DL prospects but all of them are coachable. Because of his strength and effort, he may be able to come in and contribute sooner than later in the rotation.