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My 2019 Breakout Player Prediction: Josh Jones

Here’s a player who has a name recognition problem. When he came to Green Bay in 2017, the team already had a couple guys named Josh, and a few named Jones. It only got worse in 2018, when the team drafted another defensive back: Josh Jackson.

Going back over my old notes, I was impressed by Jones’ size, athleticism, and toughness. The guy stands almost 6’3”, weighs 220, and runs a 4.41 dash time – and he reeled off 20 reps on the bench. That’s just what I love to see in a safety.

The big story coming out of his rookie camp was that Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers expected to employ him as a hybrid safety/linebacker – though that plan never really took hold. Capers in fact favored Kentrell Brice over Jones in 2017.

Here’s what I said prior to the start of that first season:

(I)t’s Green Bay’s second 2017 pick, Josh Jones, that has electrified the fans. Jones is a big and strong safety – but he also has the athleticism usually associated with a small cornerback. His 4.41 dash speed bests King (4.43) Randall (4.44) and Rollins (4.57). Best of all, Jones loves to hit people – it’s his size and physicality that has the Packers’ coaches drooling over the possibilities of using him as both a linebacker and a defensive back.

Jones as a rookie ran up very decent numbers while playing about two-thirds of the time: 71 tackles, two sacks, and five passes defended.

Safety Josh Jones

Stefon Diggs (14) drops a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against Green Bay Packers defensive back Josh Jones (27) at U.S. Bank Stadium. Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, he was unable to match those stats in 2018. He started his second year off on a down note by injuring his ankle during practice and going inactive for the first three regular season games. He didn’t earn a start until December, but once he did he finished out the season with the following tackle totals: 5, 6, 6, 12, and 3.

The most disappointing thing about Josh has been a lack of big plays: two sacks, five passes defended and one interception in 2017, and one sack, two PDs and no interceptions last year. He has yet to cause or recover a fumble as a pro.

It could be that Jones was not quite ready when he chose to turn professional after his junior year at NC State, an AAC team. Trying to thrust the young rookie into a hybrid role also might have been unwise.

 

Josh Jones celebrates with Jaire Alexander

Josh Jones celebrates with Jaire Alexander – Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

When Jones turned pro, one scouting report issued by nfl.com was rapturous:

“He’s another one that will hit you. He’s a real physical football player. . .He’s a tremendous athlete and the Packers love cross-training guys, corners and safeties. . .Extremely aggressive. Bouncy feet can’t wait to fire downhill and hit something.”

That’s what many of us expected to see from the Pack’s second round pick in 2017 (61st overall). We’re still waiting.

This is the year for Jones to bust out, or be relegated to a backup role. He needs to be become more assertive in challenging receivers who enter his space. He’s got all the tools and athleticism you could ask for in a safety. If he lives up to the hype he came into the league with this year – coupled with his three new defensive free agent teammates – the Packers’ defense could rapidly become stupendous.

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Rob Born

Someone else said it first but I popularized it: “Athleticism is important in athletic pursuits.” It took three years, but the Packers finally listened. My new mantra: “Trading down is fine, but never trade up.”

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24 Comments

  1. Stiggy April 17, 2019

    I like it.

    Reply
  2. Ferris April 17, 2019

    Physical tools..check, between the ears…not checked. Maybe second year with same DC will help.

    Reply
    1. PF4L April 17, 2019

      I have to agree with the grammar cop.

  3. Craig April 17, 2019

    NC State is in the ACC not AAC.

    Reply
  4. Skinny April 17, 2019

    Had huge game early his rookie year and then Pack never played him again. Feels like hes been on the verge of being released for a bout a year now. Must have gotten in somebody’s dog house.

    Reply
  5. Savage57 April 17, 2019

    Josh Jones:

    Hits like a hammer. Thinks like one, too.

    Reply
    1. PF4L April 17, 2019

      Bingo

  6. thomas balistreri April 17, 2019

    dude disappeared last yr…why the optimism?…guy looks like another Teddy bust…not smart enough to play in that league…I hope I’m wrong because it sucks being right ALL THE TIME when it comes to the Pack

    Reply
  7. Kato April 18, 2019

    Hope you are right. Seems like grasping NFL defenses has been an issue for him. Just goes to show athleticism and combine numbers do not necessarily predict success.

    Reply
  8. R.Duke April 18, 2019

    See if he can put on another ten lbs and try to play inside LB. No instincts, no flair for the game. Straightline rover back mis cast by Ted.

    Reply
  9. V April 18, 2019

    You can all the physical gifts in the world but if you’re not assignment sound and with it between the ears ot makes no difference in the NFL.

    Reply
    1. PF4L April 21, 2019

      It’s a pleasure to see commentators like “V” in here. One of the reasons that draws me in here.

      You can have a vertical of 41″, you can bench press 225 lbs. 50 times. You can run a 4.2 40. None of that alone, or combined, makes you a very good football player.

      If someone has the same combine metrics as Julio Jones, should we then assume he has his football talent? Or are we smarter than that?

      As always…..no charge

    2. Jason Parker April 21, 2019

      You say it like those metrics have no bearing whatsoever. They’re one factor.

    3. PF4L April 22, 2019

      Funny, i didn’t say or even insinuate it had no bearing whatsoever, but ok.

      Most, if not all of these scouts, NFL personnel guys, and GM’s already know, or think they know what they got with these players based on their college tape.

      The combine is about 2 things mostly. Player Injury concerns and history. Along with meeting and interviewing players, teams want to know their mental make up at that time more than their 40 time. Teams may want to see some physical things, especially if their was some injury history.

      In other words…..teams already know if a guy can jump high, they know if they are fast and strong. Its more about the human nature, the man. Then the team decide’s who they like and they spend real money investigating the kids history before they commit millions of dollars.

    4. PF4L April 22, 2019

      Now…if i said something that you don’t agree with, in principle, lets debate that.
      I’ll stand by my original post.

      1. Jason Parker April 22, 2019

        Relax, champ. You’re too combative. That is the opposite of debate.

    5. PF4L April 22, 2019

      lol ok Sparky, i wrote that in a calm as can be fashion, but you read it how you want…..maybe someone should to try to infuse some life in here my man. Holy shit.

      If you need an article written, e-mail me an offer, of course, then i’ll probably counter.

      1. Jason Parker April 23, 2019

        Ok, champ. Calm down. I’ve read a lot of your posts to know you are not very bright so there is no need engaging with you.

  10. Kato April 23, 2019

    Shots fired.

    Reply
    1. Jason Parker April 23, 2019

      I’ve been patient with the guy. Keep running his dick sucker and there will be script in the database converting all his comments to “Go Vikings”

      All he does is chastise and annoy. That scares away new potential commentators when you see someone like that in the comments section.

    2. PF4L April 23, 2019

      Go Vikings!!

      1. Jason Parker April 24, 2019

        The beatings will continue until morale improves.

    3. PF4L April 24, 2019

      Censorship now rules the day i see.
      Remember when we had the best site around?
      It was the day before Mr. Parker got here when we had the freedom of speech Monty provided.

      1. Jason Parker April 24, 2019

        Register a domain name, install WordPress and get started, brother. I made my fortune with WordPress sites, perhaps you will too someday. Also, I was out of weed. We’re good now.

        I’ll have to get a webcam set on my stash so you know when not to push my buttons.

        Also, he never mentioned it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Monty set up a new site. I think he just got burned out from this one plus the all the legal stuff. Now that ICANN has held up this domain as ours, there isn’t much more the Packers can do. Then again, I’m not posting pervy pictures of player’s daughters. Perhaps you miss that.

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