One 2016 NFL Draft prospect who has a lot of teams looking into him is Deion Jones of LSU, with the list of teams showing interest in him including the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.
Jones, a linebacker who played four years for the Tigers under Les Miles, has already visited the Saints, Jets and Ravens. He’s also held private workouts for the 49ers, Dolphins, Titans, Lions, Falcons and Panthers. He’s set to visit the Eagles and Colts.
Jones didn’t play much during his first three years in LSU, starting just once. But in his final year at Baton Rouge he got plenty of time on the field, finishing with 5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss. He finished as the team’s defensive MVP, also adding two interceptions, and three pass breakups to show he’s not just someone who rushes the passer, but a linebacker who does quite well when dropping into coverage when necessary.
What’s to like? His speed. He has great sideline to sideline movement and reaction time, making him very good for both tackling runners and trailing tight ends and receivers in short to medium routes. Teams are wary of him because he doesn’t have a lot of experience and he’s slightly undersized.
He can work well in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 and with the right tools from coaches can become a three down linebacker in a year or maybe a bit more. At the moment, he’s not viewed as a first round pick, which makes sense. But there’s a reason so many teams are after him: His athleticism, his speed and his tenacity, which should make him an NFL linebacker at some capacity for a long time.