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Markus Jones Is a Developmental Prospect That Can Improve the Outside Pass Rush

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects who could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: East/West Shrine Game Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Markus Jones, EDGE
School: Angelo State University | Conference: Lone Star Conference
College Experience: Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 252 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th to 7th Round
Player Comparison: Harold Landry

College Statistics

Data courtesy HERO SPORTS.

Player Overview

If a player is going to make it to the NFL from Division II, they have to dominate. Before getting to Angelo State, Markus Jones promised his parents to “exceed beyond anyone I compete with.” You could definitely argue he did that and then some. Jones led the nation - all divisions - in tackles for loss with 34.5. A leader in sacks and forced fumbles (he even blocked two kicks), Jones went on to win many postseason awards including the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year. Whenever you watch a Division II prospect, they should leap off the tape. Jones’ quickness, tenacity, and relentlessness is evident. Although the level of competition is questionable, Jones accepted an invitation to the East West Shrine game and held his own. He had a good week of practice that translated to six tackles, a half sack, and two QB hurries. Jones has a lot of potential that could be unlocked.

Strengths

  • Although he played DE, has good size to play OLB in a 3-4.
  • Relentless motor. Always working to defeat blockers and chase plays until the whistle.
  • Quick off the line and gets to top speed quickly. Shows speed around the edge and flattens to QB easily
  • Shock blockers, stacks and sheds linemen and bull rushes tackles with good strength.
  • Impact player on special teams.

Weaknesses

  • Arm length only 32”. This allowed blockers to get their hands on his chest and slow his rush. Will have trouble keeping blockers off him unless hand usage improves.
  • Can be undisciplined and out of control on rushes. Needs to put together pass rush moves and have a plan when rushing.
  • Limited tape does show if he can drop and cover as an OLB or set the edge against the run.
  • Level of competition in Division II. Can he be as good against better competition?

Let’s go to the video tape

How He Fits On The Redskins

Despite being 7th in the league in team sacks - just six less than best - there is no doubt that this team needs help off the edge. Kerrigan has been a strong and steady force, but there must be more sack production from the OLBs. Preston Smith and Ryan Anderson combined for six sacks and not one additional OLB got home the whole season. That just won’t cut it. Smith and Pernell McPhee may be gone in free agency. The team would not only be wise to use a high draft pick to address the position, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to use a late pick on a pass rushing specialist or developmental pass rusher. But he definitely has the tools to contribute to a teams pass rush rotation. He might be the faster off the edge than anyone currently on the roster. While there are questions of whether he can hold an edge against the run or drop into coverage, on obvious passing downs he can help a team if given the time and opportunity to improve. With the depth of the position in this draft, it is possible Jones will go undrafted, but his production and traits make him a great late-round prospect.