Summary: In every NFL draft, there are players who don't have huge collegiate stat lines yet get drafted ahead of players who have been more productive based off of a physical skill set. A player who figures to follow in that mold is Jones. He played a variety of positions for Florida State, which hurt his numbers.
Jones worked his way onto the field in 2011 and totaled 56 tackles, six tackles for a loss, three sacks and two forced fumbles. He made a lot of improvements as a junior. The second-year starter led FSU in tackles in 2012 with 95, plus recorded seven tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. Sources told WalterFootball.com that many believed Jones would leave school for the 2013 NFL Draft, plus he was receiving second-round estimations from NFL teams.
Jones decided to return for his senior year and Florida State showed his versatility by playing him at defensive end a lot. The Seminoles were looking for some edge rushers after losing Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine to the 2013 NFL Draft, so Jones spent a lot of time at end this season. That hurt his stat line, but he showed nice versatility to be an edge defender. Jones recorded 56 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, one interception and two sacks in 2013.
For the NFL, Jones looks like a nice fit at either inside or outside linebacker. He could function in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. Jones has some strength to battle offensive linemen and can be a strong run-defender. He also has speed and athleticism to drop into pass coverage or blitz off the edge. Jones would be a nice fit in a 3-4 defense as a versatile player who can do a variety of things.
Player Comparison: Bart Scott. Jones has some similarities to Scott. They are similar size and both have the athletic ability to be good blizters. Scott (6-2, 242) was a good run-defender, and Jones could learn how to get better at shedding blocks by watching Scott. Scott had an excellent career after being an undrafted free agent from Southern Illinois. Jones has a good skill set with the upside to have a productive career like Scott.
NFL Matches: Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Indianapolis, Denver
There are a number of teams that could consider Jones on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Lions, Jaguars and Browns could use some young talent at linebacker. The Texans also could use an inside linebacker to pair with Brian Cushing.
The Saints could use a young inside linebacker to be an upgrade over David Hawthorne and a long-term replacement for Jonathan Vilma. The versatile Jones should have an appeal to Rob Ryan and New Orleans in similar manner to Kenny Vaccaro.
The Colts could use more talent for the inside of their defense, and Jones could also help serve as an edge rusher on the other side from Robert Mathis. Plus, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano drafted a Seminole in the first round last year (Bjoern Werner).
Denver could use more talent for the middle of its defense. The Broncso also could use more size in their linebacking corps, so Jones would be a nice fit next to Von Miller.