Drew Boylhart April 2008

Jason Jones   DE   Eastern Michigan

 

STRENGTHS

Jason has those long legs and arms that give a DE a substantial advantage over his opponents.  His is not quick off the line, but has long, strong strides that make it very easy for him to get into the backfield and cause a lot of problems.  Jason right now doesn't even realize the talent he has that needs to be developed.  Playing in the East-West Shrine game, it looked to me like he was just starting to understand his own talent.  In the Senior Bowl, at times, he seemed surprised at his own abilities and as the game progressed, you could see him having fun and his confidence growing.  Jason is an impact player just waiting to happen.  If Jason has a good work ethic, in a year or two, he could become one of the better pass rushing defensive ends out of this class.  This is a kid right now that is just starting to learn that he has the talent to play at the next level.      

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Jason has the intelligence to improve very quickly, but it will take a lot of hard work and maturity and those two issues are in question.  You are looking at a kid that is about to become a millionaire and his ability to handle that will be his biggest hurdle.  Add to that getting stronger, quicker, learning new techniques and transferring them to his play on the field along with playing football for the first time against players that are as good or better than he is athletically and you have a kid that could go into shock and curl up into the fetal position about halfway through his first season.  After saying all of that, if Jason is brought along slowly, he could be as good as Jason Taylor (DE Miami Dolphins).     

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

I do not know where Jason will be picked in this draft, but if I was a playoff team, I would draft him in the 2nd round and not blink an eye.  He has the talent to be something special, but he is going to have to have a strong support system on and off the field  to go through the work that will be needed to bring all that talent out.  The most impressive thing about Jason for me was how much he improved in just a short time from one bowl game to the other.  He played mostly inside for his college team, so he has no real moves when rushing the passer from the outside and yet, when he got into the Senior bowl, he was using his hands to knock down his opponents' hands and moving around them to get to the QB with amazing strength and quickness.  Jason takes three steps and, if he does it right, can get to a QB on a five step drop before he can set up.  It's not his burst that does this -- it's the length of his stride.  He has the ability to throw the OT off balance with his long first stride and then counter with a pass rush move to be on top of the QB before he can set up.  As soon as he learns those pass rushing moves, gets bigger and stronger and then starts to anticipate the snap count, he is going to be something else to watch as a pass rusher.  In the middle of this, he will also have to learn to become stronger against the run so that he is just not a situational pass rusher for the team that drafts him.  Draft Jason and about halfway through his first season, start putting him on the field in pass rushing situations and I know he will impact.  In his second year, if he starts learning how to handle cut blocks etc, you are not going to get this kid off the field.  Be patient with this kid and you are going to have a player who could wind up being one of the best.  Maturity to handle this newfound stardom will be the only thing that can stop Jason from realizing his talents.