Jones originally committed to Michigan, but decided to stay closer to home, choosing Arkansas over several other SEC schools. While the Wolverines struggled down the stretch under Rich Rodriguez in 2009, “DD” started three games and played in 12 as a true freshman (24 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks). He gained even a stronger role in 2010, starting eight of 12 games (38 tackles, 0.5 for loss, two forced fumbles), with seven coming before he was arrested in October for marijuana possession. Jones again didn’t put up big numbers as an 11-game starter his junior year (19 tackles, two for loss, one sack) but that’s not necessarily a requirement for scouts looking for his sort of length and strength in the middle.
Tall, long and athletic defender lines up at every spot on the line. Flashes quickness off the snap at the three-technique, takes a long step to win the gap. Leans into doubles inside and holds his ground well for his height. Gets some push and plays containment when outside either tackle. Short-area quickness also helps him attack ballcarriers when free within the box. Uses length to get his hands into passing lanes when unable to reach the quarterback. Not afraid to mix it up with opponents.
Plays with a high pad level too often, getting stoned by a strong punch and losing leverage. Doesn’t use his hands nearly enough, gets stuck on blocks, fails to pop off to make plays on ballcarriers coming into his area. Lacks closing speed to be a great pass rusher or make plays outside the box. Must prove he has the stamina to be more than a rotational player at the next level.
Defensive tackles with the size and athleticism to start in the SEC are always coveted by NFL scouts. So even though Jones has only six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in three years (22 starts in 37 games), don’t discount his chances of becoming a solid late-round pick after a strong senior campaign.
Future Hall of Famer
A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.