PROS: Does a good job coming up and defending the run and shows good pop as a hitter. Shows decent ball skills, able to pick off or break up pass on errant throws by quarterback.
CONS: Can be late breaking on the ball over the middle, and tends to be a step late more often than not. Lets receivers get behind him when he's playing deep centerfield. Needs to do a better job breaking down in space to make stop at the point of attack.
OVERVIEW: Jones has good size, hitting ability, and range, but at times is too inconsistent in run support and struggles in coverage. Had a breakout sophomore year, his first as a starter where he had 76 tackles and 5 INTs. Almost came out after that year, but decided on one more year. Came back and put up similar production (73 tackles, 4 INTs), but not sure he really improved on his consistency. Had he stayed another year and become more consistent had potential as a first round pick.
NFL FORECAST: Potential is his middle name. I think he can be a nice solid run support safety in many schemes. But he'll give up some plays in coverage, and I'm not sure he'll ever be reliable there. But he does have potential to develop there because he has good speed and range. He just needs to play smarter, but I'm not sure he will put it all together. I think he should improve in run support and become more consistent there if again he plays a bit smarter. Is one of those guys that too often looks for the big highlight than the smart play. But if he goes to a team that has a solid free safety, I think he can be reigned in a bit. He should develop into a nice NFL starter, but I'm not sure he'll be the impact playmaker that his potential says he will be. I think he'll be much like former UGA players in Jermaine Phillips and Sean Jones, who are good players, but nothing special about them.
ATL FORECAST: Jones could become a backup to William Moore, but probably isn't worth the Falcons time since he offers many of the same traits that Moore brings to the table. So it's not as if he's great insurance in case Moore struggles as a starter, because he's just as likely to struggle in those same areas. But he could be a nice backup for the Falcons with the potential to possibly push Moore down the road. But I'm not sure he'd ever be a starter here in Atlanta, just a backup and eventually sign someone else in four years.
VALUE: Jones is a solid middle round pick. A team desperate for an enforcer at strong safety might take him at the end of the third round, but he's probably a fourth round prospect for the most part.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BALL SKILLS: 3.0
Scouting reports of safeties in the 2010 draft.
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