Christian Jones   LB   Florida St

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Christian has remarkable athletic talent to play multiple positions in your front seven. He can play anyone of the linebacker position in a 4-3 defense and also play outside linebacker/defensive end in a 3-4 defense. He has the size and length to rush the passer as well as the agility and speed to cover running backs out of the back field and those pass catching tight ends that go down the slot. This year, Christian has been used as a defensive end and, at times, as a defensive tackle in short yard situations because he is so stout against the run and has been very impressive. In years before, Christian was used as a linebacker in a 4-3 defense inside and out, which is where he shows the agility and speed in coverage and the ability to shock and shed and make tackles in the hole. I suspect that once Christian goes to the combine and works out, he will be flying up the boards for most teams because of his ability to play multiple positions in the front seven and his workout numbers that I suspect will be excellent. I call him Christian (Holy Moly) Jones because right in the middle of his workouts most coaches and GMís watching are going to say, ďHoly moly, how did we miss this guy?Ē

CONCERNS
Christian has some off field issues that might be a problem for some teams. He also hesitates and needs to lean better pass rushing skills if a team wants to use him in a 3-4 defense as an OLB/DE. Because Christian has played so many different positions in different defenses, he will hesitate at times but as soon as he learns one position and stays at that position, he will be the type of player you can build your defense around.

BOTTOM LINE
Christian might be one of the first linebackers taken in this draft if his workouts are as good as I suspect they will be. The only thing that might get in the way will be off field issues and if those donít involve drugs or domestic violence issues, I donít think many teams will have a problem. The only reason no one is talking about Christian as a top draft choice is because he was moved to another position this year and lacks the pass rushing techniques right now. Thatís not a big problem because his athletic talent and football intelligence suggest he will impact in that area also once he learns what he needs to learn. Christian is really impressive in coverage and there are few linebackers in this draft that have coverage skills and are stout enough at the point of attack to be used as a down lineman also. He has the football intelligence to play middle linebacker in a 4-3 defense, but still needs work on his tackling skills and angles but once again, I canít impress upon you enough at how much he will improve in these areas once you keep him at one position. So watch for Christianís workouts for confirmation of his athletic talent and then watch him fly up the boards. Christian is not a one year wonder or a workout warrior. There is plenty of film of him playing all of the positions I have mentioned and it is impressive. Christian (Holy Moly) Jones, thatís what everyone is going to call him once they see his workouts.

Drew Boylhart
JAN/2014