Chandler Jones Scout

 

Defensive End/Rush Linebacker

Syracuse

6-5 266

Draft board overall prospect rank: #49

Draft board defensive end rank: #4

Overall rating: 76 (2nd round pick)

40 time: 4.85

Games watched: Syracuse/Connecticut, Syracuse/Pittsburgh

Positives

·         Great natural athleticism

·         Good size (6-5 266)

·         Great hands

·         Long arms (35 inches)

·         Has the ability to add another 15-20 pounds

·         Moves well for his size

·         Solid production in 7 games in 2011 (30 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks)

·         Physical

·         Plays with good leverage

·         Good strength to anchor

·         Good burst off the line

·         Solid against the run

·         Good motor

·         Strong work ethic

·         All the intangibles

·         3 year starter

·         Has a strong bloodline (his brother Arthur plays for the Ravens and his other brother Jon is a champion MMA fighter)

·         Was on my first round watch list for 2013 before he declared early

·         Great upside

Negatives

·         Not very productive as a pass rusher (10.5 sacks in 3 years)

·         Injury history

·         Probably declared a year early

·         Disappointing 40 time (4.85)

·         Not a quick twitch athlete

·         Only average speed off the edge

·         Concerned about his speed and quickness to play rush linebacker

·         Inexperienced in coverage

·         Undeveloped as a pass rusher

·         Not a wide repertoire of pass rushing moves

·         Weight room strength (22 reps) doesn’t match up to his on the field strength

NFL Comparison: Will Smith

Chandler Jones is one of the players I had on my first round watch list for 2013 who surprisingly declared a year early (Brock Osweiler, Lamar Miller, Rueben Randle, Stephen Hill, Tommy Streeter, Josh Robinson, etc.). Like most of those players, I have a day 2 grade on Chandler Jones, a 2nd round grade. Stephen Hill is the one exception there because of his amazing Combine.

Jones is a 3 year starter, but managed just 10.5 sacks in those 3 years, 2 as a freshman, 4 as a sophomore, 4.5 as a junior. It’s worth noting that he only played 7 games as a junior due to injuries and could have had a solid sack total had he stayed healthy, but that injury will be a concern for teams going forward. He’s a great athlete who can develop as a pass rusher, but he’s not an elite pass rusher yet.

He’s got long arms and uses his hands well. He gets good burst off the line as well, but he’s not a quick twitch athlete who is going to burn guys off the edge. He also doesn’t have a very mature pass rushing repertoire. He’s solid against the run, but the pass rush isn’t there yet, but, again, he can develop it. He’s got great natural athletic abilities, a strong work ethic, and good bloodlines with his brother Arthur playing for the Ravens and his brother Jon being a UFC Fighter (Jon Bones Jones).

My other concern with him is whether or not he’ll fit a 3-4. He has little to no experience in coverage and he doesn’t seem comfortable in back pedal. He’s also not overly fast off the edge, which is a must for rushing out of a 3-4 scheme as a rush linebacker because they typically start out rushing out of a 2 point stance in space. His 40 time (4.85) was very concerning as well.

He could still be drafted by a 3-4 team, like the Jets at 16, who are known to love him, or the Chargers at 18, but that wouldn’t be his best fit. He reminds me a lot of Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints, a 4-3 end who came into the league at 265, but added 15 pounds to his frame, which Jones can do comfortably. Given that, I think he’s best as a 4-3 end like Smith, who has been solid, but not elite as a pass rusher after going in the first round, with 61.5 sacks in 8 years after going in the first in 2004.

Other options for Jones include Chicago at 19, who is known to be interested, Tennessee at 20, Detroit at 23, New England at 27 or 31, and some 3-4 teams like Green Bay (28), Houston (26), and Baltimore (29). I think it’s pretty unlikely that he’ll fall out of the first round as someone will fall in love with him and his upside, but I have a 2nd round grade on him because his lack of pass rushing ability and production makes him a pretty boom or bust prospect.

 

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