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Deion Jones draft profiles and highlights


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http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/deion-jones?id=2555162

 

OVERVIEW

Jones' father, Cal, named his son after his favorite football player, Deion Sanders. His nickname has been "Debo", as in Deion and Bo, like Jackson, put together. The New Orleans native is living up to the expectations, winning the Metro Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in high school and eventually starring for his home state LSU Tigers. Jones had to be patient, though, as his first three years in Baton Rouge resulted in exactly one start (due to an injury to Kwon Alexander). He played primarily on special teams in 2012 (23 tackles, three for loss) and 2013 (15 tackles) before seeing more time on defense as a junior (27 tackles, 3.5 for loss). Then came Jones chance to start with Alexander moving on to the NFL. He became permanent team captain and defensive MVP after leading the team with 100 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. He also had five sacks, two interceptions, and three pass breakups, showing scouts an all-around skill set giving him a shot to play at the next level.

 

PRO DAY RESULTS

 
40-yard dash: 4.38 seconds 
20-yard short shuttle: 4.26 seconds 
3-cone: 7.13 seconds 
Vertical: 35 1/2 inches 
Bench press: 18 reps of 225 pounds

ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

 High-twitch, well-muscled athlete with tapered waist and powerful trunk. Quick lateral slide from gap-to-gap mirroring running back. Speed to chase from sideline to sideline. Accelerates off his spot and into his target preferring to wrap up and drive hips through the tackle. Brings pop behind his pads. Trustworthy. Handles his run fits and isnt looking to be a hero. Bouncy feet enable sudden change of direction. Willing to step into hole and deliver a blow to pulling guards or iso ­blocks. Has strength at point of attack to squeeze the edge against tight ends. Able to defend passes or pick them off in coverage. Special teams demon on cover teams. Maintained focus and team-­first attitude despite being unable to crack starting lineup until his senior season.

WEAKNESSES

 Only one year of starting experience. Slightly undersized. Tightly bundled frame may leave little room for additional mass on his frame. Needs to be diligent with hands or he can be engulfed by second level maulers. Diagnoses well, but instincts inside the flow of play are a work in progress. Needs to improve consistency as a tackler. Not as downhill as he could be limiting his production on tackles for losses. Loses track of his coverage in space from time to time. Showed some signs of fatigue in fourth quarter against tempo-­based teams.

DRAFT PROJECTION

 Rounds 2 or 3

NFL COMPARISON

 Joe Mays

BOTTOM LINE

 Three-down linebacker prospect with outstanding athleticism and a willing, aggressive mindset for the position. Jones lacks the playing experience that most linebackers in this draft will have so he might need a year of tutelage on the NFL level to help him expedite his learning curve. Jones could be a fit at ILB for a 3-4 team or as an outside linebacker in a 4­-3. Jones potential as a special teams cover man gives him a shot to get early playing time.
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http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1984265/deion-jones

PLAYER OVERVIEW

With one college start entering 2015, Jones was unranked by most NFL teams over the summer. That's not the case anymore. Jones exploded as a senior, leading the Tigers with 100 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He intercepted two passes and forced a fumble, was named LSU's Defensive MVP and one of five finalists for the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES

STRENGTHS: Numbers don't do his play justice but film conveys the whole story-- highly active and instinctive linebacker with the athletic range to be a three-down player. Above-average reactive athleticism. Reads run and attacks with explosive burst to beat blockers to the spot.

 

Decisive, smooth strides to stick with tight ends in coverage, even lining up at cornerback on some snaps. Agile and alert. Surprising route recognition for a defender with limited playing time. Accomplished special teams performer because of his speed and fearlessness. Team captain in 2015.

 

WEAKNESSES: Lacks ideal bulk for the position, looking more like a strong safety than an outside linebacker at his current weight. Reliant on his burst and agility to run around would-be blockers, struggling to disengage if opponents are able to latch on.

 

Takes over-aggressive angles to the ball, flying upfield and too often getting trapped inside the mass of humanity at the line of scrimmage. Intercepted two passes in 2015 but dropped a handful of others. Not made for power schemes and some could ultimately use him at safety.

 

IN OUR VIEW: Jones continued turning heads at the Senior Bowl. Limited starting experience can be overlooked as he appeared in 51 games. His biggest issue will be a lack of bulk but many teams will value Jones' athleticism, reliable open-field tackling ability project well to NFL defenses relying on speed. Caoach Les Miles considered Jones one of the smartest players on the team. His NFL arrow is pointing north, projecting best as a weak-side linebacker in a traditional 4-3 alignment.

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http://www.rotoworld.com/player/cfb/133753/deion-jones

At least 11 teams have shown interest in LSU LB Deion Jones in the form of private workouts or visits, according to Rand Getlin of NFL Media.
Jones had visits with the Saints, Ravens, Eagles, Colts and Jets. Add on private workouts with the 49ers, Dolphins, Titans, Lions, Falcons and Panthers, and the athletic, rangy linebacker is a well-researched prospect heading into the final weeks of the draft process. Jones is not Lavonte David, but he could be Telvin Smith and drafted in the top three rounds, like Telvin should have been.

 

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http://draftwire.usatoday.com/2016/01/15/2016-nfl-draft-scouting-report-lsu-lb-deion-jones/

Deion Jones was a special teams star at LSU for three years, but when finally given the chance to start during his senior campaign, the Tigers linebacker responded with an impressive season that put him on the radar of NFL scouts.

In light of the upcoming Senior Bowl and the multitude of draft prospects that will be performing there, I’ve decided to temporarily alter my typical scouting report approach in order to give you a look at each rostered player. Instead of the typical list of strengths and weaknesses along with a written summary, I’ll simply offer an overall analysis for many of the prospects who are fighting to earn a second or third day selection during the 2016 NFL Draft in April. This will also give you a look at some potential day three or undrafted free agent “diamonds-in-the-rough” that could emerge from Senior Bowl week. 

LB Deion Jones

College: LSU
Year: Senior
Birth Year: 1994
Height: 6-1
Weight: 227

Analysis

I’m admittedly a sucker for athletic linebackers, especially considering the way they mold to what the modern NFL asks of these second-level defenders. The ability to play three downs is increasingly vital, and the more hats you can wear as an off-ball linebacker (run defense, pass rush, zone coverage, man coverage) the better your odds of playing a heavy role at the pro level.

Deion JonesFrom that perspective Deion Jones will clearly be attractive to many NFL teams, as an impressive athlete with natural movement skills and short-area quickness. Jones has the range and foot speed to cover a ton of ground in a hurry, and the aggressive linebacker can be quite disruptive with his ability to shoot gaps and fill holes at the point of attack. Quick to react and attack the direction of the ball, Jones is never hesitant to get his nose dirty at the line of scrimmage, often re-routing backs by hurling his body into lead blockers and creating debris in the runner’s path.

Of course, as energetic as Jones is, he can also be caught completely out of position by attacking without processing. He’ll take false steps on misdirections and get caught up at the line rather than staying at the second level and flowing to the football. Once engaged with blockers, Jones struggles to break free due to his lighter-than-average frame and lack of ideal power. At times he can be straight-up overwhelmed and driven well off the ball by opponents. I’m typically understanding of a linebacker’s failure to disengage from the blocks of offensive linemen due to the size/strength difference, but because Jones’ playing style is so incumbent upon being physical against blockers, it could be a concern moving forward.

Given Jones’ skill set however, there is no reason he can’t learn to play the game differently. He’ll need to learn to process quickly before attacking, but given that 2015 was his first as a starter, the aggressive temperament was encouraging to see despite the fact that it landed him in trouble at times. Jones has a lot to learn about developing his vision, reading keys, and understanding opponents’ tendencies, but the violent playing style and readiness to trust his instincts are very evident.

Because of his burst and quickness, Jones was successful in a variety of ways for LSU. It wasn’t unusual for the team to utilize him as a blitzer or in slot coverage, where Jones showed smooth hips to turn and carry receivers down the field when necessary. His awareness and instincts in zone coverage were impressive, displaying the ability to break on the ball and challenge catch points. Aggressive and inexperienced, Jones could be manipulated out of position by more savvy quarterbacks, but that seems to be another tendency he can overcome with time and coaching.

The biggest area of concern for me is Jones’ struggles as a tackler. He does overrun some stops, but too often he simply just misses, shooting for ankles and allowing runners to wriggle away. Jones needs to target runners a bit higher, but his lack of length and strength make it hard for him to be successful one-on-one as a tackler. Again, experience playing a major role at game speed could be a factor here, but the fact that Jones has difficulty finishing even when using proper technique is troubling. It will be an area to watch during Senior Bowl practices.

Jones is probably just a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 front at the next level, without the length, power, size, or experience to play anywhere else. He can fill a number of different roles from that position however, and should be a three-down player once he is acclimated to an NFL defense. Coaches will enjoy Jones’ experience and willingness to contribute on special teams, an area of the game that he dominated while at LSU. I’m worried about how Jones’ frame holds up at the next level and if he can be a consistent finisher, but I like his physicality, coverage ability, and range enough to take a shot at him in the third round. If he can learn to play a bit smarter, take better angles to the football, and complete tackles with regularity, one NFL team may have a true steal on their hands.

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