Lowdown: Jones led the nation in sacks (14.5), tackles for loss (24.5) and forced fumbles (seven) last season. He is one of the elite edge rushers in the draft and projects as a playmaking, 4-3 end or 3-4 outside linebacker. He could be a top-10 pick. There are two areas of concern. His 40 time at the Georgia pro day was surprisingly slow. By comparison, Oregon’s Dion Jordan ran a 4.6 and Louisiana State’s Barkevious Mingo ran 4.58. His vertical jump was well below the norm for a top pick. Obviously, he didn’t play slow on the field, against top competition. He also has a medical issue that might be a concern. He started his college career at Southern California, but was not cleared to play after his freshman year when doctors diagnosed him with spinal stenosis. Upon transferring to Georgia, he was medically cleared, and he had no problem with injury the past two seasons.
They said it: NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock on Jones: “He's explosive. He's a playmaker. He fits in a 4-3, which is what he already played. But some teams that are in the 3-4 will like him. The teams like Pittsburgh, they don't care as much about length as some of the other 3-4 teams do.”
Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.
Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.