Dre'Mont Jones Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Very fast at the point of attack
Rare speed to be a gap penetrator
Too fast for guards
Dangerous interior pass-rusher
Successful against good competition
Uses hands and feet at same time
Needs to be more stout in the ground game
Needs to improve lateral anchor
Not a fit for a 3-4 defense
Summary: Over the past few seasons, Ohio State has fielded a defensive line comprised of NFL talent. The program's starters, rotational players, and backups are futures pros. Among that group, Dre'Mont Jones stands out for his athletic upside. He earned a starting job in 2016 and totaled 52 tackles with four for a loss. In 2017, Jones was Ohio State's interior speed defender and recorded 20 tackles with five for a loss, one sack and two passes broken up. With the Buckeyes being so deep on the defensive line, they rotated their players a lot to keep them fresh, and that suppressed the production for players like Jones, Nick Bosa, Sam Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis and Jalyn Holmes.
Jones recorded 8.5 sacks, 40 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, two passes batted, one forced fumble and a 28-yard pick-six in 2018. The junior had an electric start to the season as he and Bosa were dominating at the point of attack. After Bosa went out for year, Jones stayed consistent and continued to produce for the Buckeyes.
In the pass rush, Jones is capable of being a contributor from the inside. He has a very fast first-step and often is the first one off the ball. Jones gets into the chest of offensive linemen and fires into his gap to get penetration in the backfield. Along with being fast, Jones is athletic and can redirect to work through trash in order to pressure the quarterback. Jones is able to use his hands and feet at the same time. He also shows some variety in pass-rushing moves with developed technique.
In the ground game, Jones is at his best when he tries to work upfield to cause problems behind the line of scrimmage. However, Jones can really struggle to defend downhill runs coming straight at him. Bump blocks from interior linemen also give him a lot of problems because he can get blasted out of his gap to open holes. Jones has to get more stout at the point of attack to be a true three-down starer.
The issue that really hurts Jones is being underweight. He can get eaten up by offensive linemen and gets knocked to the ground far too much. There were plays when Jones uses his speed to get upfield, but guards just push him into the turf to negate his rush. He could get pancaked by some power guards in the NFL.
For the NFL, Jones would be best as a three-technique in a 4-3 defense. He would not be a good fit in a 3-4 or playing nose tackle in a 4-3. If a 3-4 team drafts him, Jones will be limited to being a designated pass-rusher in the sub package. He does not have the length or weight to be a five-technique or nose tackle in a 3-4.
Jones' speed and athleticism are hard to find for interior defensive linemen. One team's top executive just a step below general manager was asking me where I thought Jones would get drafted, and I said back half of the first round to early second round. They agreed with that sentiment, and I heard similar from scouts at other teams and a general manager.
Player Comparison: Grady Jarrett. Jones reminds me of Grady Jarrett coming out of Clemson. Both are interior pass-rushers who have size limitations for the NFL. On the other hand, they are fast at the point of attack with an ability to get after the quarterback. In the NFL, I think Jones could be an interior defender similar to Jarrett.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, New England, Buffalo, Miami, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City
Interior disruptors are hard to find, so there should be a lot of teams hoping to land Jones late in the first round or in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Cleveland would be a good fit for Jones. His speed and athleticism at three-technique would be dynamic next to Myles Garrett. The Browns were in need of more interior pass rush, and Jones would fit nicely with Sheldon Richardson. Without a first-round pick, Jones would be a great value for the Browns on Day 2 if he slipped to them.
The Patriots also make a lot of sense for Jones because they need to replace Malcom Brown. He would be an excellent value for New England at No. 32 overall. The Patriots also have two second-round picks that could come into play for Jones.
Staying in the AFC East, the Bills could use a young interior disruptor for their scheme, and Jones could be a three-technique to go with their nose tackles. Miami needs to replace Ndamukong Suh, and Jones could form a nice tandem with Charles Harris.
The Colts have switched to a 4-3 defense under their new coaching staff and could use a tackle to go with Denico Autry. Jones could be a fit for Indianapolis late in the first round or early in the second round as the team has the Jets' second-round pick, 34th overall.
In the NFC North, there are a few landing spots Jones. The Lions could use an interior pass-rusher, and Jones would be a great value for them in the second round. Minnesota also could consider a tackle after Sharrif Floyd was forced into early retirement and Sheldon Richardson left in free agency.
The Chargers could use some youth on the inside of their defensive line, and Jones could be a dangerous interior pass-rusher sandwiched by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Staying in the AFC West, Jones could interest Kansas City, which needs more talent on the defensive line around Chris Jones.