Redshirt Senior| 6’6” 260 lbs | September 29, 1998 | Chesapeake, VA
A long, lean 4-3 defensive end whose polished pass rush arsenal and hot motor makes him a disruptive force off the edge
Patrick Jones II came to Pittsburgh as a skinny 6-foot-5, 235 pound defensive end and worked his way from redshirt to reserve to starter as he gained weight and experience. In his first year as a full-time starting defensive end in Pitt’s 4-3 scheme in 2019, Jones notched 8.5 sacks and came in second in the ACC in total pressures. Jones’ 55 pressures were the seventh most of any returning NCAA player, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Really long, strong arms
- Shows an array of pass rush moves. Primarily attacks with a long inside arm and has multiple counters off that
- Rare push/pull block shedding ability
- Good hand placement. Hands stay active and under control
- Effective two-gapper when asked to man both B and C gaps
- Flashes the ability to convert speed to power
- Good lateral quickness makes him pesky in backside pursuit
- Plays with a hot motor
Areas to improve:
- Not a natural edge bender. Merely average flexibility
- Doesn’t get much pop on his initial punch
- Will occasionally give up running lanes by getting too far upfield
- Could stand to add some muscle to make him more stout at the POA
Injury concerns: N/A
Way too early projection:
With a polished pass rush arsenal at his disposal, Jones will be one of the more pro-ready edge rushers in the 2021 class. Team’s looking for a starting 4-3 defensive end will likely circle Jones as a Day 2 draft target, though he’ll likely be drafted closer to Day 1 than Day 3. Jones might be best utilized primarily as third-down pass rusher during his rookie season, but he has the tools to be a solid three-down NFL starter.
What to watch in 2020:
With both Jones and Jalen Twyman (Pitt’s other top DL prospect) deciding to return for their senior seasons, the entire Pittsburgh DL should be a fun watch in 2020. Twyman bested Jones in sack totals, but Jones’ pressure rate was far and away better. With pressure rate typically carrying over better than sack totals on a year-to-year basis, it’ll be interesting to monitor whether Jones passes Twyman’s sack totals. Jones’ weight should also be worth monitoring, as he’s quite lean right now and has the frame to add weight. Bulking up may boost his ability to hold ground against the run, but he must make any additional weight doesn’t sap his his quickness.