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Report: Broncos had a pre-draft visit with Connecticut defensive lineman Travis Jones

The 6’4 325 lb. Husky is a potential option for the Broncos in round 2.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice
The Broncos have hosted their first defensive linemen
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the Denver Broncos are among the teams that have hosted the University of Connecticut’s Travis Jones.

Jones is a 6’4”, 325-pound defensive lineman who is expected to be selected in one of the first two rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft. According to consensus draft boards, Jones’ average draft position falls between 38.8 and 42 which is long before the Broncos’ first selection at 64 overall.

Jones was a three-star offensive line recruit out of high school who originally committed to Rutgers, but changed his mind and committed to Connecticut after discussing it with his family. The Husky’s sold him on a switch to defensive tackle and he started 10 games his freshman year. UConn cancelled their 2020 season because of the Covid-19 pandemic so Jones had the year off, but he finished his career a team captain with 32 career starts under his belt.

Jones’ combination of size, athletic ability, and play strength suggests he’ll be able to contribute early in his NFL career. If drafted, he could quickly carve out a niche in the Broncos DL rotation as a versatile, dependable two-gapper with the burst and quickness to push the pocket on passing downs. He’s strong enough to be problematic for centers in one-on-ones and has the anchor to stand up to most double teams. To reach his potential as a three down force, he’ll need to improve his hand usage and refine his pass rush repertoire.

Personally, I really like that the Broncos are showing an interest in Jones. They finished last season among the bottom third of the league against the run by Football Outsiders’ efficiency metric DVOA, will continue to use the Fangio-style defense that routinely utilizes a light box count to allocate additional resources to coverage. Given the issues up front in 2021 I’ve had lingering questions about the line following the Russell Wilson trade, as it cost the roster Shelby Harris and he was never actually replaced. Signing the 6’ 320 lb. D.J. Jones from the San Francisco 49ers was a start, but his length and play style are best utilized as a pure interior linemen, whereas Jones has the length to log snaps as a five technique in Denver’s base 3-4.

If the Broncos want to draft Jones they might need to trade up and the relative lack of depth of this defensive line class means it could make a ton of sense. As I write this, he looks to be the only defensive lineman the Broncos will host with their 30 official visits. Mile High Report currently knows 27 of them:

Broncos top 30 visits

OT Tyler Smith

OT Abraham Lucas

OT Matt Waletzko

OT Braxton Jones

iOL Dylan Parham

iOL Cole Strange

iOL Cam Jurgens

OL Thayer Munford

CB Cordale Flott

CB Roger McCreary

DB Nick Grant

DB Martin Emerson

DB Ja’Quan McMillan

DB DaRon Bland

LB/S Tariq Carpenter

RB Isaih Pacheco

RB Shermari Jones

RB James Cook

RB Zamir White

FB/TE Chigoziem Okonkwo

QB/WR D’Eriq King

QB/WR Jared Benhardt

WR Tyquan Thornton

ED DeAngelo Malone

ED Nik Bonitto

ED Drake Jackson

DL Travis Jones

Poll

If he’s available, should the Broncos draft Travis Jones in the second round?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Yes
    (243 votes)
  • 12%
    No
    (35 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now