2021 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Patrick Jones
Position: Defensive End
Weight: 260 pounds
Jones brings the entire arsenal out. He converts speed to power with a deceptive bull rush that sends tackles into the quarterback’s lap. This move hinges on the explosive ability to use hips, chest, and shoulders in unison. The prospect strings together small movements to generate force. Next, Jones shows the ability to dip either shoulder and get the corner on a tackle. In addition, he will change planes with the dip, creating a ghost move, flying under the hands of the blocker. Equally important are Jones’ quick hands and ability to change positioning. Lastly, with his height, Jones offers a swim to set up moves later.
As always, this trait in pass-rushing centers around burst. 40 times matter less than those ten yards around the line of scrimmage. Jones closes down quickly upon the target. Despite his angular frame, the Pitt product covers ground rapidly. On rollouts, he manages to bridge the gap to harass the passer.
With NFL drafting, a power element must occur. While Jones features a good bull rush, he lacks the base power to violently disengage in the run game. Locked on tackles can steer if his opening handwork doesn’t win the snap.
As mentioned, the product bends the corner with fluidity and shows the skill of getting skinny on stunts. In addition, Jones’ change of direction doesn’t really suffer from a quick stop. He doesn’t need to gather as much or as suddenly find his bearing.
With added strength, the ability to avoid drag tackles will occur. Jones presents the tools to be a better tackler. Blessed with an above-average tackles radius, the prospect can affect plays heading away from him. At the next level, he will need to enhance the grip to deal with backs that can break tackles in the backfield.
Active but inconsistent fits here. While Jones knifes into the ball, occasionally, he will give up the edge, allowing the back to skirt wide and downfield. In running situations, he needs to remain cognizant of where the holes are and attack the play with a plan. Film shows a knack for forcing the back to make the wrong decisions.
Plain and simple, work ethic. Lining up in a four-point stance means Jones needs to bring the majority of his bodyweight up and forward at the snap. After the ball moves, he still needs to handfight a massive tackle. He rates high due to the motor display. Now, the high motor is a cliche that seemingly only applies to a certain type of player, figure it out. Yet, Jones won’t quit. His singular mindset actually works here. He wants to get home and wreck the play, preferably the quarterback.
If you look through an objective lens, Clelin Ferrell continues to disappoint, based on draft status. The fourth overall pick as a defensive end in a 4-3 must change games. Ferrell is a high floor, low ceiling player. Meaning, he isn’t gonna flash the athleticism that eluded him so far. Meanwhile, Jones provides the instant burst and immediate boost the Raiders lack. With a roster of Nassib, Ferrell, and Crosby, you’d ask where Jones would fit.
Now, here’s the fun part. If Vegas slides Ferrell inside on passing downs, bookends Crosby with Jones, you’d have a version, albeit lesser, of the NASCAR line the Giants used. The Afc West now employs two, and eventually, depending on draft, three young, mobile quarterbacks. Static rushing, based on just power doesn’t work. Jones shows the ability to win quickly and pressure the quarterback. In turn, the secondary improves. By starting Jones out as a situational pass rusher, the Raiders can slowly work into the scheme. The team will probably decline Ferrell’s fifth-year option. By that time, Jones will grow into a bigger role.
Points: 22/28, based on a 1-4 grading system.