Who The Hell Will They Draft: Syracuse DT Arthur Jones

Since my selection for the Colts in Round Two of the 2010 SB Nation Writers Mock Draft was Arthur Jones, I guess it only makes sense that Jones be the lone draft profile I do this year. And while many of you gave me sh*t over taking Jones, at the end of the day my pick got a pretty solid grade from the harsh critics at Mocking the Draft.

Oh, and I will continue to defend my Mark Sanchez pick from last year until the end of time!

Anyway, on to Arthur Jones, a player many mock draft experts and wannabe scouts consider an "under the radar" player who would have been in the First Round of this year's draft if not for injuries. Yet, one of the qualities that makes me think the Colts are interested in Jones is that despite him suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the college off-season and a torn left lateral meniscus, he played through and played very well. Big East head coaches named him a first-team all-conference player in 2009. Now, that is one tough dude, and toughness (to go with some quickness) is exactly what the Colts need on the defensive line.

Mocking the Draft:

Quickness: Jones is fairly quick off the snap. He's really good at bursting through gaps and getting after the ball. Shows good snap anticipation.

...

Final Word: Jones is flying far below the radar, especially after Gerald McCoy and Brian Price declared and Dan Williams emerged. But also causing the low profile are some serious injury concerns. He tore a pectoral muscle in the 2009 offseason and saw his senior year shortened by a torn left lateral meniscus.

Jones is an attractive prospect because his ability to play the 3-4 or 4-3. This would allow teams the luxury of presenting different looks on defense.

Jones' quickness is his best attribute. He is very good at penetrating the o-line and getting into the backfield. Notre Dame fans shudder whenever his name is uttered. In a 2008 game, Jones recorded a college career-high 15 tackles. Four of those tackles were for losses and he scored 1.5 sacks that day as well. 

NFL Draft Scout

Jones was named to the All-Big East first team after his junior season. His numbers for his junior season were phenomenal: 60 total tackles (33 solo), but the mark of a good defensive tackle is what he is able to do behind the line and he did not disappoint, racking up 13 tackles for a loss including 3.5 sacks. Although being listed as the #2 defensive tackle in the 2009 draft (of which he did not participate), because of the knee injury his draft stock has dropped; various draft sources have Jones going anywhere in the draft from the second to the fourth round.

For those of you who do not remember, Tyson Jackson was the first DT taken in the 2009 NFL Draft followed by BJ Raji. You then had guys like Peria Jerry and Ziggy Hood going in the first round as well. If Arthur Jones had entered the 2009 NFL Draft, he might have been drafted ahead of all those guys. That is his talent value, folks.

Ahhhh, but the key question: Is the young man healthy and recovered from his knee injury late in 2009, which kept him out of both the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine?

Answer: We don't really know. NFL Draft Bible had some nice things to say about Jones at his Syracuse Pro Day. He seemed healthy and ready for the NFL. Regardless of his injuries (which only really happened his Senior Year), Jones is known as a tough guy who plays through pain and continues to perform despite the pain. Kind of reminds me of Dwight Freeney, who played through a severe ankle injury in Super Bowl 44. Freeney is also from Syracuse. Maybe they put something in the water there.

 NFL.com

Jones has a good blend of size and strength making him an effective defensive tackle against the run. He plays with good intelligence to find the football. Tough player who plays through the whistle. Displays a competitive streak you love to see with your interior defenders.

One argument against drafting Jones is that it seems to "give up on" Fili Moala. My answer: So what? I've met Fili and I get no indication that he is the long-term solution at the DT spot. I like Daniel Muir tremendously, and I think Polian is high on Antonio Johnson. But both players were not offered anything more than one-year tenders this off-season. That kind of sends a signal that management does not consider them vital. And Muir and Mookie are not vital, what the hell does that make Fili?

With Raheem Brock gone, the need for a strong, disruptive tackle on third down is crucial. Jones can provide that. Taking him in Round Two (where he will likely get drafted from) is indeed a risk, but if you can get first round talent in later rounds, you take it and don't look back.

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