NAME: Patrick Jones II
POSITION: Defensive End
WEIGHT: 264 pounds
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Ben Cleveland
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Nico Collins
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Aaron Robinson
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Brady Christensen
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Payton Turner
Patrick Jones II grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he attended Grassfield High School. As a senior defender, he recorded 83 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Grassfield went 8-4 that season and made the Virginia Group 6A playoffs. Jones II was named to first team Group 6A All-State, All-6A South Region and The Virginian Pilot All-Tidewater. Additionally, he was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Monitor-Merrimac Conference and to the American Family Insurance All-USA Virginia football team. Jones II was rated as the number one defensive end to come out of the state of Virginia by Scout. Meanwhile, that database also ranked him number 26 overall in his class. He chose Pittsburgh over other offers from schools like Virginia Tech, Duke, NC State, Illinois and Cal.
After joining the Panthers, Jones II redshirted in his true freshman season of 2016. He was not a consistent starter the next two seasons. Yet, Jones II still played in 24 total games and totaled 30 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble. Subsequently, he established himself as a starter in 2019. He was one of the ACC’s top defensive ends, becoming a true leader of the Pittsburgh pass rush. Jones II led the team in tackles for loss (tied with 12), forced fumbles (four) and quarterback hurries (18). He also notched 43 tackles and 8.5 sacks while starting in all 13 games. Afterwards, the pass rusher was named second team All-ACC.
The production was almost the exact same for 2020 while starting in all 11 games. Jones II registered 44 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks and a fumble recovery. Those sacks led the ACC and were fifth most in the nation in 2020. Jones II also ranks 12th all-time on the sack list in school history. A first team All-ACC selection and consensus first team All-American on the year, he was named a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Lott Impact Trophy. Following the season, Jones II took part in the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
This is currently his best attribute as a pass rusher. Jones II takes long, wide strides when chasing after the quarterback. His explosiveness, along with his flexibility, allows him to change directions fairly easily. His ability to rush the passer from outside to in is evident. Along with his speed, Jones II has proven that his footwork is largely clean. He can rush inside, due to the lack of false steps in his game. Jones II also has the get off and fluid motion at the snap to put stress on opposing blockers. Outside of pass rushing, he has tremendous speed and effort to chase down opponents from behind on a backside pursuit.
We touched on his ability to rush inside. However, Jones II is just as deadly cornering from the outside. He has the sufficient flexibility to dip and bend around the corner. To boot, his ankle flexion and overall core strength allow him to turn through tight angles. The other aspect that helps Jones II here, is his lower half strength. He can win reps by recovering quickly because of the strength in his legs and feet. Meanwhile, Jones II is still able to get stops while blockers have a hand on his chest. He has a solid understanding of staying low and utilizing leverage.
Read And React Ability
Not many defenders can diagnose run plays, let alone defensive ends. Jones II’s prowess in recognizing and reading where the run is going can be a luxury. It is not just simply all about reading the play, however. Jones II stays patient and under control to not leave his gap or run fit. On the other hand, he does well with reading blocks and snuffing out their plan of attack. Jones II makes a plethora of run stops by setting the edge, pursuing the football and finishing. In the pass game, he has shown well-timed reactions to screens or quick throws to the running back. There is also a good chance that a pass may be batted down by Jones II at the line of scrimmage.
Pass Rush Counters
The good thing for Jones II, is that he has plenty of hand power. Being able to place and time his hands against blockers more consistently has been a challenge. The moves he appears to use the most are rip, swim or stab. Mainly, the issue for Jones II can be that he focuses on only using one singular move on a particular rep. Teams will want to see him improve on stringing together multiple moves in order to get home. Furthermore, he can struggle with keeping his hands active. Opponents are able to get hands on his chest immediately as a result.
This goes back a bit to his chest being left as exposed. There are plenty of reps, where Jones II does not work to extend his arms. His length, modest at best, is unable to be displayed or used in this situation. Jones II loves to beat opposing blockers with a bull rush. Though, the timing of when he chooses to drive through them can be hit or miss. The Pittsburgh product certainly has plenty of strength and power in his hands. Finding a way to win with that quicker and earlier will help. Especially, when you take into account the speed and explosiveness that Jones II has. He is not going to be viewed strictly as a finesse or technically refined pass rusher.
Not sure if there is much upside for Jones II in any other defense than the 4-3. Why? He has rarely played from a standup position on the outside. And, the defensive end has shown to be more comfortable starting rushes with his hand in the dirt. Maybe his instincts could allow him to drop back in coverage, if need be. Overall, Jones II can defend the run and pass well as a defensive end in a balanced defensive look.
Just that fit in a 4-3 defensive front alone, would make Patrick Jones II a fit with the Chiefs. In Kansas City and throughout his career, Steve Spagnuolo has been able to cook with pass rushers of his size. The speed and explosiveness he possesses are aspects that I believe the team needs to be adding to the pass rush this offseason. If so, they could see an increase in sack numbers. Kansas City ranked 19th in that category last season, with 32 sacks. Add in his ability to read and defend the run, and this player could see significant snaps early on in his career.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the rest of the spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.