When it comes to the defensive side of the football, the Indianapolis Colts certainly have a need at linebacker, both outside and inside. The Colts have been looking at a number of different linebacker prospects in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft, and we can add another one to that list as well.
LSU linebacker Deion Jones appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday night with Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt, and Jones said that he has a pre-draft visit with the Colts. Jones also mentioned that he will visit with the Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Jets.
Jones played in 51 career games at LSU, starting eleven of them. During his first three years at the school, he played in every game but started just one game, when Kwon Alexander missed time in 2014. During those three years, however, Jones proved to be a good and reliable special teams player in coverage. In his senior season in 2015, Jones took over as the starter at linebacker as Alexander moved on to the NFL, and he wound up leading the team in tackles and in tackles for loss. Jones finished the 2015 season with 100 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, three passes defensed, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. He was a permanent captain for LSU, as well as being named the team's Defensive MVP and a finalists for the Butkus Award (given annually to the nation's best linebacker).
The big negative with Jones is that he doesn't have the experience that other linebackers in this year's draft class have, as he was only a starter for one year in college. He did produce during that year, however, and he is talented enough to be a good player in the NFL, though he might take a little longer to adjust. He is expected to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 system and inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, meaning that if the Colts draft him it would likely be to play inside and add more competition and depth there. He is a projected third round pick by CBS Sports, while NFL.com's Gil Brandt listed Jones among his top ten most underrated defensive prospects in the draft and called him "one of my favorite players in this draft."