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Broncos roster review: Defensive lineman D.J. Jones

When the Denver Broncos signed D.J. Jones they got a huge boost to their run defense.

NFL: Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos went looking to find an interior run stopper in free agency and found one the NFL’s best run defenders last season in former San Francisco 49ers’ lineman D.J. Jones. They signed him to a three-year, $30 million deal for a defensive lineman who Pro Football Focus said had the best run-stop percentage in the entire league.

#97 D.J. Jones
6’00”, 321 lbs.
College: Mississippi

Jones, 27, is entering his prime years after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

How he fits with the Broncos

Denver had issues stopping the run at the line last season and Jones should be able to help fix that. He can get after the quarterback too, but his primary area of excellence is blowing up run plays.

There will be some adjustment to the 3-4 alignment in Denver having from the base 4-3 in San Francisco, but once he finds his groove this man should be a human wrecking ball along the trenches.

Jones is ready to dominate in Denver.

“Dominate here,” Jones said in May. “I feel like I made a mark in San Francisco, but I think it’s time to bring that here and help this community and help this team. I’m here to do whatever they need me to do.”

He was asked later what kind of pressure he might feel being asked to stop the run when Denver’s defense needs to drop eight in coverage during games.

“It’s not too much pressure,” Jones said. “We’re d-linemen, and that’s what you’re supposed to do from the jump. You’re supposed to stop the run. I think we have the perfect group to be able to do that as long as we stay healthy and keep our minds on the goal.”

That’s the kind of blue collar mentality that the big guys in the trenches tend to carry. They beat each other up every snap of the game and never stop working at winning their individual battles.

Final word

While it’ll be pretty exciting to see Jones get a sack now and then, his true impact will be felt in the run defense. Having a guy like him inside who can be counted on to be there to stop or limit a ball carrier to shorter gains will help put the secondary in favorable down and distance in later passing downs.

He’s definitely an underrated addition to the defense and a guy we should keep an eye on all season long.