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Broncos sign rookie linebacker from Seahawks practice squad

Denver makes a move to potentially shore up their tight end coverage.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

After getting burned two straight weeks for touchdowns against tight ends, Denver signed a rookie linebacker from Seattle’s practice squad who may be able to help with that.

Joseph Jones is an undrafted, nickel linebacker from Northwestern who racked up 14 tackles (11 solo) in three preseason games for the Dallas Cowboys, who originally signed him after the draft.

Jones is an intriguing prospect as he was often used as a coverage linebacker in nickel, and lined up to cover the slot frequently according to our friends at Inside NU.

Additionally, Jones has superb athleticism. Here are his numbers from his Pro Day:

Here’s what the scouting report had to say when he was entering the draft.

Strengths

Jones’ measurements are insane. The 6-foot-1, 235 pound linebacker is an absolute freak athlete. Had Jones posted these numbers at the combine, he would have had the 2nd-best 40-yard dash (just .03 seconds behind Jabrill Peppers), the 5th-best vertical jump, 7th-best broad jump, 4th-best 3-cone drill, 5th-best 20-yard shuffle and 3rd-best 60-yard shuffle. This is only among linebackers of course, but it’s still a pool of 29 elite players who were invited to the combine. He’s a top-tier athlete, there’s no doubt about that. Ridiculously, his 40 time is the just .01 seconds short of Christan McCaffrey, the same as Dalvin Cook and better than Leonard Fournette.

On the field, his other biggest strength is that he’s incredibly versatile and has plenty of pass coverage experience. He’s worth taking a look at because of how good he is in that area, one which is vital in today’s NFL.

Weaknesses

Jones biggest weakness comes simply from the fact that he didn’t see the field that much at Northwestern. He did his job more often than not, but he doesn’t exactly have too many plays that jump out at you. He’ll get the job done, but that’s about it. That lack of visibility will hurt his draft chances. Even though he does favor speed over strength, he’s not weak and that should not be too much of a problem.

Typically these practice squad moves are a dime a dozen, but this one intrigues me.

We’ll see if Denver is able to use his coverage skills moving forward.