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Broncos roster review: Defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones

Can the former third round pick, take a big step in his second year?

BRONCOS CHIEFS Photo by Eric Lutzens/The Denver Post

Dre’Mont Jones was always a future-focused pick. When he was selected in the third round of the 2019 draft, the Broncos had Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe sharpied in as starters, with Adam Gotsis (remember him?) coming off a season where he took nearly 50% of defensive snaps.

The plan was always to develop him for the future when guys like Adam Gotsis and Derek Wolfe were no longer on the team. That future is now. That may seem a little melodramatic, but this year really is the year the Broncos were thinking about when they drafted Dre’Mont Jones.

He comes into the season primed to get a significant bump in snaps, and an opportunity to play alongside some big-time talent, which could definitely help propel him along.

Defensive Lineman #93
Experience: 1 years
Height: 6-3
Age: 23
Weight: 281 lbs
College: Ohio State

The Good

I went back and watched Jones’ tape from last year, and he was as advertised in the quickness department. I would really like to see him get involved in more stunts like this with Jurrell Casey, Von Miller, and Bradley Chubb.

I think pass rush is the area where most people assumed he would bring the most, and that he would struggle in the run game. I expected the same when I watched the tape, but was pleasantly surprised with how he looked in the run game.

Nothing fancy here, but he does his job and uses his length to break free and make the play.

That’s one thing that stuck out to me on his film is when Jones is able to use his length and keep offensive linemen out of his chest, he fares pretty good.

You can see it in this clip above. Watch how quickly he shoots his hands inside at the snap and is immediately in control of the offensive lineman. I’d like to see him shed this a little better, as he has a tendency to get stuck on blocks (we’ll talk more about that in a second), but nice initial shot with the hands, here.

In the pass rush department, here’s your weekly reminder that sacks are a poor stat to judge defensive linemen’s performance on.

This is a good example. Jones does a nice job of staying with the play, but this is a clean-up sack.

Of his 3.5 sacks on the season, 2.5 of them were clean up sacks like this, and the other was on a blown blocking assignment due to a blitz. Now that’s not to take away anything from Jones, it just shows how sacks aren’t indicative of his actual performance.

Things like this play below, which may be one of my favorite plays from his rookie season, won’t show up on the stat sheet.

That chop/swipe/rip move is the kind of stuff I really want to see more of from Jones this upcoming year.

The Bad

On that note, I was actually a little underwhelmed by his pass rushing overall. The traits and flashed are definitely there, he just didn’t consistently show that and often got stalled and stuck on blocks with no pass rush plan. I’m really hoping he can work with Von/Chubb, and Casey this offseason and develop some go-to moves for his repertoire, and refines his pass rush plan.

In the run game, while he was better than I expected, there is still some opportunity for improvement. Like I mentioned earlier, he tends to get hung up on blocks a little too much. This play below in particular stuck out.

He is working on a tight end who he has at least 30 lbs on and is struggling to break free. Now the TE is holding like crazy, but everyone does that. Jones has to be able to power through that kind of stuff on the interior.

I think his overall power and disruptiveness, particularly in the run game are areas of growth for him, but that was to be expected from his scouting profile coming out of the draft.

Final Word

Jones checked in at 27% of defensive snaps for the 2019 season, but saw his playing time increase as the year went on, especially when Derek Wolfe went down. The last two weeks of the season, Jones played 52% and 61% of snaps, respectively, and looked pretty good with the increased playing time.

I’m excited to see exactly how and where the coaching staff uses him the next season - I think he could be one of the young players who is really poised to step up big this upcoming year.