We move on with our NFL Draft Profile to an edge rusher that an NFL team could give a shot to prove himself in training camp. Tony Jones made an impact in his two seasons as a Red Raiders and has the speed and high motor needed to play in the NFL.
Jones has had two pretty decent seasons as a Red Raider. He came out of Butler Junior College highly touted as Texas Tech beat out a host of Power 5 schools for his services. Jones came in and made an immediate impact, logging 4 sacks at 32 total tackles in his junior year with the Red Raiders. His senior season was about the same as he shared snaps with Kolin Hill in both of these seasons. Jones still logged 4 sacks and his total tackles number went up to 44.
What he does well:
- Speed, speed, speed. Jones is quick off the ball and has one of the fastest first steps in the land as he can chase down almost anyone on the field. This could be contributed to his background playing running back.
- He has great pursuit skills. It’s one thing to be as fast as Jones is but it means nothing if the pursuit skills are not there. Looking at his tape, Jones is good at getting to the ball. There is room to grow of course, but the skills are there.
- Jones is very good at wrapping up. If not from the hips, he gets runners down from the ankles.
What he doesn’t do so well:
- Jones is strong, but he’s a bit undersized for an edge rusher. At only 6’2 and 225lbs, Jones has speed and a bit of strength, but bigger NFL offensive tackles will have no trouble gobbling him up when he comes around the edge.
- Jones also tends to overshoot some plays, when he gets a full head of steam, a juke move usually sheds him. Gaining control to be able to anticipate when a runner might juke or spin would be a great skill for Jones to learn before the Draft.
Draft Value: Undrafted Free Agent
Jones is a great athlete, but the NFL is looking for someone with a bit more size and more skills as a defensive end. Some team might take a chance on him in the later rounds of the draft and might even try him at linebacker. I see him maybe getting a chance in someone’s training camp based off of his athleticism and if that doesn’t work out, I see Jones moving to the Canadian League or one of the new Spring Leagues, either the AAF or the XFL to prove his worth. A couple of years in one of those leagues might allow him to gain the skills necessary to get an NFL contract down the line.