The Buffalo Bills’ defense has been inconsistent throughout the 2015 season as they’ve transitioned to Rex Ryan’s hybrid 3-4 defensive scheme. Some players throughout the front seven that were productive in Mike Pettine and Jim Schwartz’ defensive schemes that were based on 4-3 concepts haven’t been able to replicate that success in their new roles. So, going into the offseason and most notably the 2016 NFL Draft, it’s likely that the team will look to acquire defenders that fit the archetypes for the positions needed for Ryan’s system to thrive. Today, we’ll take a look at Mississippi State’s raw, yet talented defensive lineman Chris Jones.
Chris Jones was the No. 2 ranked recruit coming out of high school, where the 6’5” 308-pounder excelled on the basketball court as well. As a true freshman, Jones played in all 13-games, recording 32 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups and led the Bulldogs with 10 QB Hurries.
In his three seasons with the team, Jones has tallied 97 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, nine pass breakups and 58 QB hurries.
Previous Prospect Breakdowns
Chris Jones’ Physical Attributes
Chris Jones has a well-built and compact frame, standing 6’5” and weighing 308 pounds. He’s got a strong lower body, long arms and above-average athleticism that make him a problem for offensive linemen to deal with. During his collegiate career Jones’ athleticism was maximized as the Bulldogs utilized him across the entire defensive line, but he primarily lined up as a one or three-technique defensive tackle.
Chris Jones’ Run Defense
Chris Jones rarely surrenders ground at the point of attack and his strong lower base allows him to anchor against the run. Whether he’s used as a one or two-gap defender, Jones consistently finds a way to get in on the action, something you love to see in a defensive lineman.
In the following clip, Jones is lined up at the three-technique between LSU’s right guard and right tackle. He bursts through the double team attempt at the snap and takes on the fullback, forcing running back Leonard Fournette to cut back inside where he’s met by a gang of Mississippi State defenders at the line of scrimmage.
In the next rep, Jones is aligned as a nose tackle directly over the center. At the snap he sheds the block from the center, tossing him aside before avoiding another block by the fullback. He nearly makes the tackle for loss, but Fournette is able to make an incredible play to escape.
Chris Jones Pass Rush
Chris Jones is a ridiculous athlete for someone of his size and he has the ability to pressure opposing quarterbacks with both speed and power. He’s got heavy hands and knows how to use them to split double teams and get into the backfield quickly.
Jones’ power and hand usage are put on display again in the following clip as he mauls LSU’s right guard before tackling the quarterback at the line of scrimmage on a draw play.
Potential Fit With the Buffalo Bills
Chris Jones is an ideal left defensive end in a 3-4 defensive front, where he would align as a five-technique (over the tackle) on base downs and slide inside to the three or one technique in sub-packages. He’ll need to be coached up, as he’ll get over-aggressive at times, failing to keep his eyes in the backfield or overpursue on misdirection runs.
Nonetheless, Jones is a high-ceiling prospect that has all of the traits you look for in a 3-4 defensive linemen and could be a great value in the second or third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.