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2018 NFL Scouting Report: Scouting USC running back Ronald Jones

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Rojo would add some big play ability to the Broncos backfield.

USC v Colorado Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

One prospect who may interest the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft is former USC running back Ronald Jones. He is a 5’11”, 205lb running back who is considered one of the top running backs in the draft. Jones is ranked as the 3rd best running back in the 2018 NFL draft according to NFLDraftScout.com and is considered the 46th overall prospect in the entire draft.

Jones played three seasons at USC and put up some impressive numbers. During his three-year career at USC, Jones totaled 3,619 yards rushing and 39 touchdowns. He had a career YPC of 6.1 and also added 32 receptions for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns. This past season Jones rushed for 1,550 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry last season and also totaled 14 receptions for 187 yards and 1 touchdown.

Ronald Jones, Junior, USC

Height: 5’11” Weight: 205lbs 40 time: 4.64*(Note: Jones was injured during his run)

Arm Length: 31 1/8” Hands: 8 3/4”

Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches

Film Room:

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • Explosive back with breakaway speed
  • A home run threat every time he touches the ball
  • Quick feet and is able to stop and accelerate at will
  • Deadly in the open field
  • Doesn’t lose much speed if any while making these moves
  • Despite his lean frame, he is a tough runner
  • Does not have ball security problems
  • Only 2 fumbles through 500+ carries
  • Willing pass blocker
  • Has a nose for the end zone
  • Had at least one touchdown in his final 19 out of 20 games while at USC
  • Ran track in college so he has legit speed

Weaknesses

  • Slight frame
  • Despite being a tough runner he’s not a power runner
  • Able pass catcher but didn’t do it much in college
  • Might not be a lead back in the NFL
  • Can have vision lapses at times

Quotable:

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah on Ronald Jones who he has ranked 12th on his big board.

Jones is one of the most explosive players in the draft. He’s similar to Jamaal Charles in size and style. On inside runs, he’s very aggressive in attacking the line of scrimmage and can avoid defenders in tight quarters. He has tackle-breaking power as a result of his lower-leg drive and he mixes in a violent stiff arm. He has a good feel for the cutback lane and displays exceptional lateral burst. On outside runs, he easily gets to the perimeter and is elusive in space. Once he gets a step, Jones has elite breakaway speed. He has improved as both a receiver and blocker. He fought the ball as a sophomore, but was more comfortable as a pass-catcher this fall. He is aware in pass pro, but still gets caught on his heels at times. Overall, Jones is a threat to score every time he touches the ball and I love his toughness and upside in the passing game.

Does Ronald Jones make sense for the Broncos in the second round?

Jones would not be my first pick at running back for the Broncos at this point, but I would not be against it at all.

It doesn’t look like C.J. Anderson will be back with the Broncos so they need someone to take over for him. Devonate Booker and De’Angelo Henderson figure to do that, but help will need to be added. A home run threat like Jones would be an element they have been missing dating back to the Clinton Portis day.

I do have concerns about him being a lead back, and his lack of power despite his willingness to do so is also a concern, but in the end, that is not his game. If you get Jones, you’ll get him the ball 10-15 times a game and hope he can break a big one. He wasn’t used as a pass catching back much at USC, but I believe he can handle it more in the NFL.

He will be a nice weapon for whoever drafts him.