Josh Jones is a fourth year Junior who has recently become one of the NFL drafts most polarizing prospects after lighting up the NFL combine. At 6’1″ and 220 pounds Jones ran a blazing 4.41 forty yard dash with a 37.5 inch vertical. Jones racked up 105 tackles during his Junior year and was absolutely robbed of all ACC honors. The athletic profile and physicality should cause Josh Jones to come off the board much earlier than I would personally draft him. Jones’ aggressive style of play is so easy to fall in love with but he will need to play with a little more discipline at the next level.
Jones is extremely comparable to former first round pick, Deone Bucannon. Height, weight, speed prospect who loves to bang with opposing ball carriers. Ultra productive college Safety who most NFL scouts will salivate over and most coaches will find a way to get them on the football field. Like Bucannon, Jones has the athletic ability to play free safety but due to their undisciplined style of play they’re both better suited in a strong safety or dime linebacker role.
Name: Josh Jones
School: North Carolina State
Comparison: Deone Bucannon (Arizona Cardinals)
Draft Grade: Round 4
COD Skills: Fluid mover and explosive in short areas. Click and close acceleration when making a play on the football or when attacking a ball carrier at the line of scrimmage. Has the athleticism and range to handle free safety responsibilities.
Tackling: Explosive and physical tackler looking to come down and strike iron. Best fit is at strong safety where he can play up in the box and be an enforcer. Plays with zero discipline as a tackler with no regard for his body or his opponents. Risk taker who looks to make the big hit rather than make a play on the football. Unreliable tackler in the open field and out of control. Obviously a willing tackler but will miss a ton of tackles too.
Coverage Instincts: Undisciplined in coverage as he tries to read the quarterback’s eyes. Looks lost at times when asked to drop into coverage and struggles to get to his landmarks. Struggles with route recognition in man and zone coverage. Has the size and athletic traits to man up with tight ends. Has the athleticism to play free safety in cover 2 or cover 3 schemes if he can play with a little more discipline.
Run Instincts: Instinctive against the run looking to come downhill and make a play on the ball carrier. Extremely physical football player and won’t hesitate to come down and pop you. Will get the most out of Jones if you play him in a dime linebacker or strong safety enforcer role.
Toughness/Effort: Despite being undisciplined, the kid is fun to watch. Hard nosed, energetic football player who is an alpha dog on the football field. Plays with unmatched physicality and toughness.
Ball Skills: Average ball skills and undisciplined in coverage. Struggles to get to his landmarks and gets caught with his eyes in the back field. Josh Jones finished his NC State career with 7 interceptions.
Strengths: Uber athletic and fluid on the football field. Smooth mover for someone of his size and has the height, weight and speed NFL teams will fall in love with. Enforcer and alpha dog on the football field looking to make the big hit each and every snap. Has the range and speed to play both safety positions when the roles are interchangeable like in a base cover 2 scheme. Jones also has the size and movement skills to hang with opposing tight ends.
Weaknesses: Over aggressive style of play that gets him in trouble in the run game and pass game. Struggles to get to his landmarks/assignments because he’s to focused on making the big splash play. Will miss tackles in the open field due to his over aggressive style of play. Will need to play with more control at the next level.