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Broncos roster review: Defensive end Dre’Mont Jones

With Jones set to enter his third season, it appears he’s set to start on the Broncos defensive line.

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

A year ago at this time, ESPN listed Dre’Mont Jones as a candidate for a breakout season.

Around a month and half later, the Denver Broncos defensive end/lineman hurt his knee against the Pittsburgh Steelers and missed three games thanks to the bye in Week 5.

Despite the injury, Jones still finished the season with 38 tackles (23 solo), 6.5 sacks and two passes defended.

With Jones set to enter his third season, it appears he’s set to start on the Broncos defensive line in 2021.

#93 Dre’Mont Jones, DE
Age 24. 6’3”, 281 lbs.
College: Ohio State

The Good

Despite his injury last season, Jones still had a good year. That goes without saying given he’s in line to start next to Shelby Harris.

Included in his stats are 11 quarterback hits and seven tackles for loss.

So he’s a well-rounded defensive lineman, which is what Vic Fangio likes to have in his defense. That means Jones is able to play multiple positions along the defensive line.

Now that the secondary is one of the best in the NFL and Von Miller is set to return on the outside, Jones could take his game to another level this year.

He knows the defense.

He knows Harris, and the two will play off of each other.

If Jones is able to take the next step and prove he’s a starter, it will help the defense tremendously. It’s another piece that opposing offenses will have to prepare for.

The Bad

Given that Jones is about to become a starter, it’s hard to say there’s “bad.” But with Fangio, nothing is given. Jones is going to have to keep his spot over the course of training camp.

Of course, this is all based on the expectation that Jones is the starter. So Jones will still have to earn it and prove to Fangio and the other coaches that he is the starter.

Once the season starts, he needs to continue to do what he’s done and that’s take advantage of his opportunities on the field. Since he missed three games last season, it would have been interesting to see what his stats would have looked like at season’s end.

It’s clear he’s strong in pass rush and run defense, now he must take the next step. Double-digit sacks might be pushing it, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility; especially with a 17th game added to the schedule. The other way Jones can make an impact is in run defense. That’s how the defense can get even better. As Joe Rowles pointed out, the run defense had flashes last season, but overall it was still 25th best in the NFL.

If that area of the game can become consistently good, it will help the defense take the next step. Jones can play a key role in that for the Broncos.

Final Word

Expectations are a mile high for Jones this season.

Gone are Jurrell Casey, Demarcus Walker Sylvester Williams, Joel Heath and Kyle Peko. Clearly George Patton and Fangio think a lot of Jones heading into his third year.

Now it’s time to show it on the field.