#84 Chargers: DT Justin Jones

DT Justin Jones, N.C. StatePhoto: Ted Gangi (CollegePressBox) (collegepressbox.com)

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Overview
A two-year starter at NC State, Jones played primarily over the guard next to nose tackle B.J. Hill in the Wolfpack’s four-man front, benefiting from a deep rotation and loaded defensive line depth chart. How strong? All four starters from NC State’s 2017 defensive line (Jones, Hill, Bradley Chubb and Kentavius Street) should be selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Jones has the lower body drive and raw upper strength to generate force when he times his initial movement off the snap, using active hands to keep blockers busy. However, he flashes little consistency with his get-off or handwork and doesn’t go anywhere, struggling to disengage or win the point of attack.

BACKGROUND
Jones provided immediate depth as a true freshman in 2014, collecting nine tackles in his 10 games played. His playing time increased as a sophomore, including three starts, and he recorded 29 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and one forced fumble. Jones became a full-time starter as a junior and posted a career-best 43 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks, earning All-ACC Honorable Mention honors. He again started all 13 games as a senior and finished with 34 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Analysis
STRENGTHS
Well-put-together with distributed body mass. Naturally strong and overpowers blockers through the numbers. Powerful leg drive. Creates movement with his first step, displaying leverage and power. Aggressive slug/swim move to fight through the punch of linemen. Establishes his anchor vs. the run to welcome and hold his own vs. double-teams. Space-eater and plays assignment sound. Part of a rotation to keep him fresh, but his motor doesn’t slow down when he is on the field. Durable and didn’t miss a game the last three seasons, including 26 straight starts to finish his career. – Dane Brugler 2/5/2018

WEAKNESSES
Not a burst player. Late movements off the snap, putting him behind the eight ball from the start. Inconsistent timing with his reach and doesn’t catch blockers off balance. Too easily slowed when blockers get into his chest, struggling to shed. Struggles to re-anchor once his hips rise. Not a rangy player or high production player. Pass rush sequence lacks tempo or thought, getting caught up in hand fighting battles. Minimal rush production with only 7.5 career sacks. Part of a stacked defensive line in college, opening opportunities for him. Character not a substantial concern, but was suspended for one game (Oct. 2014) for his part in a BB gun incident that caused $880 worth of damage to two cars. – Dane Brugler 2/5/2018

IN OUR VIEW
Jones is too easily neutralized to be a dynamic interior threat, but he loves to play the bully role and can provide depth on a NFL roster as a block-eater.

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