Digging Deep: Chris Jones
In this edition of Digging Deep, we look at defensive tackle from Bowling Green, Chris Jones. An interior pass rush for the Falcons, he was named the “Monster of the MAC” for his high motor and intensity on the football field.
We talked to Orange and Brown about the newest Texans’ defensive player.
What can you tell us about Chris Jones and what he meant to Bowling Green State University?
Chris Jones was an absolute warrior for BG. He committed to Coach Gregg Brandon who was fired after the season. Schools came after him but he stuck with his commitment under our new Coach. He played on a couple of pretty bad teams as the program was re-built but he continued to be a leader and to play hard on every down. He’s the kind of player you just love and he will forever be a Falcon.
Do you think Jones can be successful at the nose tackle position for the Texans?
I’m no pro scout but I believe that if anyone has the chance to over-achieve and becoming a contributing NFL player, it is Chris Jones. He is hard working and coachable. As always, you worry about pure size with a guy leaving the MAC, but I think that given a little time Jones will develop.
Jones has the rare ability to get to the quarterback from the interior. What made him successful?
To be fair, they moved him around on the line alot last year on passing downs so I wouldn’t say that they all were on the inside–sometimes he was on the edge. He was probably double-teamed on every sack he got, which makes his productivity even more impressive. Every team planned every play’s pass coverage around him, and he still got to the QB.
I would attribute his success to three things. First, he has an incredible motor. Second, he has a low center of gravity and incredible footwork. Third, he finishes when he gets to the QB. He doesn’t look for a highlight film hit, he puts the QB on the ground.
How does he play against the run?
Run coverage is not the strongest part of his game. First, he was often not on the field on second down…but he was mostly a block eater against the run. You didn’t really see him make big plays on rushes too often.
How do you see him progressing at the NFL level?
I think he landed in a really good situation. Because Houston has a strong D-line, Chris can develop while playing a few downs a game. I think he does have upside because he has the intangibles and is willing to be taught. I think he will take some time but I am confident he can become a productive NFL lineman in the right situation.
He could be the “steal” of the Texans draft class. Do you agree with that statement and why?
I believe Chris is one of those guys who excels at being better than the guy who is blocking him. He might not translate too well in drills but tape doesn’t lie and he’s a winner. He’s the kind of guy you want in the late rounds and with his work ethic and tenacity, I think he will continue to over-achieve.