Chad Jones is one of the most intriguing non-OT prospects to me in this entire draft. At 6'2" 221, he is massive for a safety and could become a linebacker for the Colts. I like to think of him as whom Taylor Mays should be. He would be an interesting first round option assuming all of the left tackles are off the board.
Chad Jones was a 2-sport star. He was a relief pitcher and reserve outfielder for LSU and won a national championship with them. However, once he decided to skip his senior year for the NFL Draft, he proved that football was his top priority.
Jones does not have the most impressive pass defense stats with just 5 career interceptions, but it is important to note that 3 of those came last year. He showed improvement in his pass defense skills to go along with his superb run blocking.
One of the most interesting parts of Jones' game is his special teams play. In his freshman year, he led the team with a solid 23 special teams tackles. Unfortunately, he became a starter/nickelback in his sophomore year so his special teams time decreased. However, he still made an impact with his returning. Last season, he served as a situational returner for the Bayou Bengals and played very well. He had an incredible 93 yard return for a touchdown against Mississippi State that gave LSU the lead. He shows a lot of potential as a special teamer to go along with his play on defense.
After the jump, you can read more about Chad Jones and see some game film of him.
Sneaks a peek at the quarterback and takes some false steps. Quick to accelerate once he locates the ball. Struggled a bit early with questionable angles, but improved throughout the season...High in his backpedal, but gains good depth on his drop. Allows the receiver to get too close before he turns with him, at times, allowing for small openings. Can do a better job of locating receivers in his zone...Trusts his own athleticism, but can be beaten over the top when he allows the receiver to eat up his cushion. Good straight-line speed, but lacks the elite second gear...Attacks downhill and is an intimidating hitter. Good vision and anticipation to feel where the back is going and avoids blockers well. Has to improve fighting through blockers once engaged...Reliable open-field tackler. Breaks down well in space to make the secure stop against quicker athletes. Heavy hitter will occasionally lead with his shoulder to make the intimidating hit to protect the middle. Has shown the explosiveness to knock the ball free.
Jones has excellent size and strength for the safety position at the next level. He’s a gritty, tough, competitive performer who loves filling the alley in run support. He’s also a smart, instinctive player despite splitting time between football and baseball at LSU. Was productive in college and has upside to get even better once focusing full-time on one sport.
Jones only possesses average pure speed. His range is only adequate as he’s more comfortable in run support or playing in the box. May have difficulty shadowing slot receivers, running backs and receiving tight ends in man coverage at the next level.
Pro Draft Party Video
I'd like to highlight his clear feeling that human life is expendable when he hits. This YouTube comment pretty much sums up his game against Arkansas.
damn #3 for arkansas is lucky he came out of that game alive. Chad Jones was tryin to murder him. lol
The lady at 3:30 is the best example of how he hits. Jones is a ridiculously hard hitter and punishes players going over the middle. With his main weakness being the fixable problem of not reacting quick enough, I feel bad for slot receivers once he does start to improve on his reaction time.
If the Colts take him, he will see the field a lot in a lot of different places. He will be a special teams star when he is not a starter, and I am not sure what position he will play in the pros. He could be a safety, middle linebacker, outside linebacker, or even a nickelback (which he played during his sophomore year).
I do believe that Jones could be the best run stopping safety in this draft and over the past few drafts. If he is a safety, I would say he will be between Cincinnati safety Chinedum Ndukwe and Arizona safety Adrian Wilson in production. He is a fierce hitter, can play multiple positions, should be a special teams star, and can stop the run like a linebacker. No matter what position plays, he's going to be damn good.