Redskins draft countdown
Ronald Jones has the proper combination of speed and power to be a top-notch NFL running back. But what sets him apart from some of his college peers is his vision. Rarely do backs coming out of college have Jones’ ability to read blocks and his knack for taking the right path to daylight. Jones has traits that should translate quickly into solid production on the NFL level.
Projected draft round:1-2
How he fits the Redskins: I’ll be looking at a lot of running backs in the next couple of weeks and I’m sure that you are familiar with Doug Williams saying that there “ain’t no doubt” they need to upgrade at running back and Jay Gruden’s promise that they will have another RB by the end of the draft. They like Chris Thompson in his role and maybe Samaje Perine can get some carries but they are looking for a quality, all-around back. Ronald Jones has the resume to fill that role.
Film review: vs. Colorado, vs. UCLA
—Jay Gruden said he wants a back who can gain yards between the tackles. Jones can do that, and he consistently picks up three or four extra yards after contact.
—Jones does need to get a chance to build up a little bit of steam. On several occasions, there was contact in the backfield and he generally went down easily.
—He wasn’t asked to pass protect much. Once he had an issue with either his decision or he just made a bad block. He brushed a pass rusher in the middle of the field and then continued on his pattern, leaving San Darnold running for his life.
—Jones also can find the edge, with a good knack for knowing when to plant his foot and turn upfield. He ran a stretch play and cut back completely against the flow to score a touchdown against the Buffalos.
—He also can react well and bounce to the outside to pick up yardage when the inside is clogged up.
—He doesn’t always get away from tacklers. On a swing pass, a defender was able to bring him down with one arm.
—Jones utilizes his pad level well. Against UCLA he got low and powered in for a touchdown from two yards out.
—Again, he’s not all about power. On a fourth and one against Colorado there was a defender right in the hole ready to make the stop but Jones made a little move to elude him and pick up the first.
Potential issues: His 40 time at the combine was a very pedestrian 4.65 seconds, a performance that tied for 19th among running backs. Only six had slower times and none of them are thought to be first- or second-day prospects. He did pull up lame with a hamstring during that run and certainly, that had an effect. The injury wasn't healed in time for his pro day so the speed remains a question mark.
He also may be a touch small for an every-down back but some time in an NFL weight room should fix that.
There is some debate over whether or not RB Derrius Guice is worthy of the 13th pick. There is no question that Jones would be a reach there. He is a player who could go off of the board in the late first or early second rounds, out of the Redskins’ reach.
Bottom line: If the Redskins are not concerned about his 40 time—and he does seem to play faster than the stopwatch said—they could well go for him in the second round.
Redskins draft countdown
- Washington NT Vita Vea
- Alabama DL Da’Ron Payne
- Oklahoma State WR James Washington
- LSU RB Derrius Guice