Editor’s Note: As we get ready for the 2012 NFL Draft, we’ll be “meeting” some players who just might find their way to Buffalo come April. In this series we’ll take a look at possible Bills draft picks and break down their abilities and potential.
Overview: This pass-rusher has the athletic pedigree, size, and the talent, but why wasn’t he more productive in college?
Strengths: Huge upside – barely has scratched the surface of his potential. Prototypical size for a pass-rushing 4-3 defensive end. 6’5, 265 and has long arms. Plenty of straight-line speed. Explosive enough off the snap to beat tackles off the edge, but doesn’t quite have elite quickness. A good tackler who takes good angles. Can set the edge against the run. Intelligent off the field and has a nice football I.Q. Good motor. Comes from an extremely athletic family – his brother Arthur plays for the Ravens and his other brother is UFC Champion Jon “Bones” Jones.
Weaknesses: Wasn’t really productive in college – barely touching double-digit sacks for his whole career. Part of that was injury, as he missed five games this past season with a knee injury. Will need some time in an NFL weight room to hold up consistently against the run. Doesn’t have a real refined set of pass-rush moves. Probably getting pushed up the draft board farther than he should due to a lack elite pass-rush talent.
How He’d Fit in Buffalo: The Bills will need 4-3 ends who can get to the passer. Jones has a chance to be as good as anyone coming out of this draft.
The Bottom Line: Jones is a boom-or-bust proposition. His upside is through the roof, and he’s drawn more than one comparison to Jason Pierre-Paul. While his ceiling is very high, his floor is also very low. I hate to compare anyone to Aaron Maybin, but…that’s the floor here. He’d be pretty hard to pass up if he’s sitting there when the Bills pick in the second round though.