40-YARD DASH: 4.75
– Named team captain at the beginning of the season.
– Good athlete with springy legs; moves really well for the position.
– Has the speed to carry running backs and tight ends down the field and take away posts/the seam when playing Tampa 2.
– Should have few to no issues mirroring and matching tight ends in man coverage.
– Uses his hands and athleticism to avoid blocks/make offensive linemen miss when moving laterally versus outside zone.
– Solid at working the hands as a pass-rusher when blitzing and has fluid hips to clear his lower half and get a clean win.
– Experience playing special teams.
– Instincts versus the run are a mess; often looks like he's guessing.
– Against inside runs, he drops his hands and tries to go chest-to-chest with blockers.
– Lacks the strength to get extension; he concedes ground to create space, and he will get pushed around by tight ends in the running game.
– Angles as a run defender are poor/too shallow.
– Doesn't have much power behind his pads; offensive linemen will be able to catch and control him when he blitzes, and he's not going to knock running backs backward when tackling.
– Can get caught staring in the backfield when playing zone coverage.
– Seemingly fell out of favor with LSU's new coaching staff last season; his playing time was significantly reduced after the first half of the season.
– Born December 19, 1998
– Clemson transfer
– A 4-star recruit in the 2018 class, No. 210 overall, No. 15 OLB, per 247Sports composite rankings
– Injuries: 2020 (Undisclosed)
– Career stats (five seasons): 101 total tackles (46 solo), 10 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 4 PD, 2 FFs
– 2020 Honors: Second-Team All-ACC (PFF)
Mike Jones Jr. had an interesting college career. He played at Clemson for his first two-plus years, and it looked like he was ready to take over in the safety/linebacker hybrid role that Isaiah Simmons played in Will Venables' defense.
However, he transferred to LSU because he wanted to play more in the box as a traditional linebacker and didn't start until roughly the end of 2021.
This past year in Baton Rouge, Jones was named a captain and was a starter at the beginning of the campaign, but he was reduced to being a reserve 'backer and special teamer about halfway through the campaign.
As far as his NFL projection goes, he can be a solid reserve linebacker who can cover and play on special teams. He has experience playing on nearly every special teams unit, which makes him an intriguing undrafted free-agent target who could sneak onto a 53-man roster in the right situation.
GRADE: 5.4 (Backup or UDFA with Roster Potential/UDFA)
OVERALL RANK: 266
POSITION RANK: LB20
PRO COMPARISON: Daren Bates
Written by B/R NFL Draft Scout Matt Holder