In a 4-3 scheme, he’d be a standard 3 technique. A sub-300 lb tackle, but incredibly quick and shifty for a man his size. He’ll excel at the next level as a gap shooting, disruptive playmaker, but could get washed out at the point of attack. Where he excels is pass protection and pursuit. He’s like a rat pressing underneath the door, able to squeeze through the smallest gaps to arrive in the backfield. Could see him as a role player for Fangio’s nickel personnel, and a good one at that. Denver brought him in for a private workout.
Granted, the Broncos under Fangio won’t run a 4-3 scheme but an attacking 3-4. Jones is probably not going to play many downs as a defensive end (5 technique) and is far too light to play as more than a situational nose (0 technique). So where Jones comes in is as an interior pass rusher in nickel personnel, a position on the defensive line called a 2i. Keep in mind that the NFL as a whole deployed 3 wide receivers more than 60% of the time in 2018. Nickel is king, and the hope is for Jones to provide a substantial punch between Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
If his final year with the Buckeyes is any indication, Broncos Country has every reason to be optimistic. In 2018 he finished the season with 13 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries. He’s also the first OSU defensive lineman to ever score two defensive touchdowns in the same season. All that production helped him cap off his career as First Team All-Big Ten.
- Burst immediately catches your eye
- Advanced repertoire of hand moves
- Faster player than athlete.
- Will split through gaps.
- Hard to reach because of his lateral mobility.
- High upside pass rusher.
- Hustles in pursuit.
- True penetrator.
- Very fluid and flexible.
Jones is the kind of tackle who gets high speed scores in Madden. His snap anticipation, get off, and upfield burst all immediately jump off the tape. He’s quick to knife through gaps and hustles to get to the ball, whether it’s a run or pas. There should be no issue with his motor as Jones displays the kind of second effort you pray for from a defensive lineman. He’ll be a huge pain for zone blocking schemes to deal with as he’s going to hard to reach and threaten to penetrate down after down. As an interior pass rusher he has sky high potential and could eventually be a Broncos 2i that teams need to commit double teams to. Even better is he already possesses advanced hand moves that include a swim, spin, and club.
- Needs to add muscle mass, especially in his lower body.
- Pad level.
- Gap discipline
- Torn ACL in 2015.
- Needs to improve against double teams and gap blocking.
- Scheme dependent (one gapping DL)
The biggest issue with Jones is how he’ll deal with the run at the next level. He’ll need to improve his pad level to do a better job holding down the point of attack against gap schemes. Additionally, downblocks and double teams will give him trouble. I suspect he’ll need to add muscle mass to his lower body. Even then, he’d be miscast as a two-gapper. He will also need to play with more discipline or teams will lure him out of his gap and run right past him.
What they said about Jones
Jones is an extremely athletic one-gapping three-technique with the ability to play a disruptive brand of football on all three downs. His potential has never been in doubt, but in 2018 the production finally matched the talent. His body type and playing style will open him up to more feast-or-famine snaps than some of the other defensive tackles in this draft, but in the right scheme, he can become part of a swarm unit that plays on the other side of the ball.
Jones features an exciting interior pass rushing skill set where his burst, flexibility and variety of moves leads to consistent pressure on the quarterback. While that holds considerable value, his run stopping ability raises major concerns. Jones struggles to hold up at the point of attack and is easily driven out of gaps. Adding play strength, playing with better extension and leverage will be critical for him to be more than a situational player at the next level. He does find success shooting gaps on run downs, but there are too many instances of him not maintaining his run fit. He may not play a high volume of snaps at the next level but he should be a valuable commodity on long and late downs.
Jones’ first step quickness and hand counters are elite skills that will lend themselves favorably to an impact role. That said, it’s difficult to forecast an every down role for Jones, given his lack of anchor and issues in defending the run. Jones’ best bet for an every down role lies in going to a single gap penetration scheme. Not a one size fits all type of prospect and will require a specific vision.
“Overall, Jones must improve his run fits and play strength to be reliable on early downs, but his slippery movements make him a pest for blockers, projecting best in an aggressive front to slant and shoot gaps.”
Dre’Mont Jones roster status with the Broncos
In 2019 Jones looks like a situational pass rusher at best with Shelby Harris, Derek Wolfe, Zach Kerr, and Adam Gotsis clearly ahead of him on the depth chart. Unless he collects a few splash plays or there’s a slew of injuries to the guys ahead of him, he’ll probably go down as the forgotten rookie in a season where Noah Fant, and Dalton Risner have clear paths to playing time.
In 2020, the road opens up. Wolfe, Harris, and Gotsis are all playing on expiring contracts. Chances are 1, maybe 2 of them return. If all goes as planned, Jones is going to inherit a ton of their snaps and play a critical part in the Broncos pass defense for years to come.