Has good tall frame with long arms, prototypical defensive end build. Has a nice first step that allows him to get leverage at the point of attack at times. Able to set up lesser tackles with his quickness off the edge, showing a nice inside counter move on occasion. Is athletic and moves fairly well when he plays in space or coverage on the zone blitzes. Has a good motor and will chase ballcarriers downfield. Can work laterally down the line and flashes burst on the backside pursuit to make stops. Flashes a nice power move that can bull rush through guards and tackles alike. Able to get his hands inside and jolt the blocker backwards.
Doesn't wow you with his first step and won't be a guy that will blow by quality tackles with his quickness and speed alone. Tends to let blockers get their hands into his body and get push against the run. Struggles to disengage and get consistent leverage at the point of attack. Needs to learn how to use his hands better there. Too often can get caught out of position and doesn't show good recognition. Will try to shoot upfield, and lose outside contain against the run.
Jones looks the part of an NFL defensive end with his 6-5 frame, and 35-inch arms. He played this year around 265-270, but has since slimmed down to around 255, potentially in an effort to get looks from 3-4 teams. He was nicked up early in the year due to a knee injury, and I think it effected his burst because he never looked like a guy that could win with speed. But he was very effective with his power move. He's a guy that I think probably is better suited to bulking up and being more of a 5-technique or 4-3 left end at the next level. His older brother Arthur also played at Syracuse and is currently a defensive tackle for the Ravens. His other older brother is UFC fighter/champ Jon Jones, so athleticism runs in the veins.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/21) vs. West Virginia: 2 sacks, 4 pressures, 1 stuff, 1 PD
(12/3) at Pittsburgh: 2 TFL, 3 pressures, 1 QB hit, 1 INT; 1 key blocked
2011: 7 GP/7 GS, 38 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, 1 INTs, 2 PDs, 2 FF, 0 FR
- missed 5 games in 2011 due to knee injury
I think Jones is athletic enough that at 255 he could be an effective 3-4 outside linebacker. I just don't think he has the burst to really impact as a pass rusher. I think he can be a nice complementary rusher in that scheme. If he plays across from an impact rusher then he can be a solid guy that can play the run, and has the size to be a good matchup against quality tight ends. He needs more work in that area, but there is good potential. I think to maximize his potential as an NFL player at the next level, he'll be better suited bulking back up to the 275-285 range and playing either as a left end in a 4-3 or as a 5-technique in a 3-4. I like his potential in the latter, potentially for a 3-4 team that likes their ends to get upfield similar to say Arizona, Houston, or San Francisco. A 4-3 team could like him as a two-down left end and then potentially move him inside on third downs. He'd be more Jason Jones than Justin Tuck in such a role. I think the good thing for Chandler Jones is that he can potentially find a role in any scheme because of his athleticism. But as a 3-4 outside linebacker, there is something about him that reminds me of Bryan Thomas, which is an effective starter, but not the sort of impact pass rusher. Maybe his slimming down and the knee being healthier has made him a few steps quicker and more explosive that could surprise and be a much more adept pass rusher. But he seems more like a guy that gives you 6 sacks than a potential 10-sack guy. And for some teams that can be fine, especially if he's playing across from someone like Clay Matthews or DeMarcus Ware, because they don't need him to be a sack-master. Regardless of the scheme that lands him, I don't see Jones being an impact player, but I do think he can be a good player and an effective starter in a variety of schemes. I think he might need a year or two of seasoning, especially if he's being asked to bulk back up. But by his third or so year, you should be getting a solid to very good complementary starter.
Jason Jones, Seahawks.
Jones could work in Atlanta because of his potential to play either as an outside linebacker if they move towards a 3-4, or the fact that he could bulk up and be a solid 3-4 end. In the meantime, he can help out the rotation as a 4-3 end. He may not be an impact pass rusher or dominant run defender, but he's a guy that can contribute in both areas and be a solid complementary player. I think he's probably better suited to bulking back up and being groomed as the replacement for Ray Edwards at left end. And if the Falcons shift to a base 3-4 down the road, Jones has greater potential to impact as a 5-technique than Edwards does. The issue you could run into is not really knowing exactly where Jones fits in Atlanta. And so he might have a slower start similar to Paul Kruger in Baltimore of shuttling back and forth between end and linebacker in their hybrid scheme. But after a few seasons, Kruger has settled into at least a solid role player, and that's probably the worst case scenario for Jones.
Jones lack of ideal position and the fact that he doesn't posses elite pass rushing potential means that he's probably a better fit in the second round as a Top 50 pick.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Rush: 6.5
Point of Attack: 5.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.