Patrick Jones II 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Patrick Jones II is a high ceiling defensive end for the Pittsburgh Panthers who will enter the draft in April. Let's take a look at the potential first round pick's 2021 NFL Draft scouting report.
NFL Draft Profile
Patrick Jones II – Edge, Pittsburgh
Height - 6’4"
Weight - 264 lbs
Class - Redshirt Senior
Hometown - Chesapeake, Virginia
Patrick Jones attended Grassfield High School and soon settled as a defensive end picking up high school state accolades. He was rated the number 25 overall prospect in Virginia by ESPN and committed to Pittsburgh over Virginia Tech after narrowing his options, citing being close to linebackers coach Rob Harley as a primary reason.
He graduated early from High School attending spring practices but redshirted his first season. Over the following two seasons he was used as a rotational defensive end combining 30 tackles of which 8.5 were for a loss, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
In 2019 he established himself as one of the premier pass rushers in the ACC starting all 13 games at weakside defensive end gaining 43 tackles of which 12 were for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and 18 QB hurries. He was named to All-ACC second team and was on the PFF ACC team of the week four times.
In 2020 he was selected as a first team All-American and named to All-ACC First Team and was a Semi-Finalist in The Bednarik and Lott Impact Awards. He totalled 44 tackles of which 13 were for a loss, nine sacks and a fumble recovery. This led the ACC in sacks and was fifth in the nation in his 11 games started.
He achieved his Bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and plans to pursue a second major in Social Sciences.
Accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl and predominantly plays weakside defensive end in Pittsburgh’s even front.
His burst and first step jump out at you, it’s easy to love this about him and he fires off the line like a cannon. He attacks the outside hip of a tackle well and flattens out with good bend to attack the QB at the depth of his drop.
When watching him, you get the feel for good instincts if a tackle tries to overcompensate for his burst off the line, he’ll look to dip under contact finishing with an effective rip move with his inside arm, once he has underneath leverage, he’s very difficult to stop.
He possesses an accomplished stutter step move which he uses with great effect to force the tackle into a false step, giving him a further advantage in using his hands to swat away an initial stab from a tackle whilst rushing the outside shoulder. I’d like to see more hand use in keeping his body free as he doesn’t use this enough to disengage.
Does an excellent job of setting an edge and attacking at an angle to a tackle. He looks far more dangerous from a wide alignment than on a tackle’s outside shoulder in 5-tech, it gives him more options using a redirect inside move on his speed to power if he doesn’t win on his first rep.
Doesn’t stop on first contact and keeps his legs moving, he loves to use his bull rush move but you’d like to see him play with extension more consistently.
Shows good awareness for play recognition, on a handful of occasions he sniffed out a screen or short throw to the flat and used his speed to attack the QB in an attempt to jump and block the pass.
Has good foot speed and hustle to chase down runners on sweeps and outside zone runs and the QB when he is flushed from the pocket.
He plays with good discipline against the run patiently controlling his gap but as already stated the hand fighting appears to be in close quarters to the body too often. He’s a good wrap up tackler and rarely misses when a run comes his way.
Jones is 6’4 but at times doesn’t play like it, he exposes his chest too often and if his initial swipe doesn’t work his natural pass rush can stall as he gets pushed past the QB or displays an inability to produce counters.
These moves can be inconsistent, his spin move specifically needs work as he seemed to lose his surroundings and spin directly back into a blocker on a handful of occasions.
You want to see him play with more length and extension and a consistently low pad level, utilising a stiff arm and keeping his opponent away from close quarters, he does do this but not often enough. If he is too high, he simply does not have the recovery or power to counter and is easily nullified.
Not as effective when looping inside shooting a gap, despite having a good burst he gets bogged down against guards by attacking too square and too high allowing the guard or center leverage when defending the stunt/twist.
Lacks any true versatility having always played with hand down and so rarely drops in coverage so remains completely scheme specific although has played both left and right side of the line. Even then he looks more natural on the right side.
Jones will win many reps purely due to his first step which will prove a real handful, he’s explosive but currently without real power. He was the height and weight to win regularly at the next level but needs to play with extension.
Following the official Senior Bowl measurements the film makes more sense now due to his 32 inch arms meaning he must win on first contact.
He remains a high effort player from first to last whistle, the concern will be, can he get better? Whilst he can be coached to use his hands better his success will depend on the ability for his upper body to gain more power without losing his burst as he has a lean lower half to his frame.
Whilst he displays bend and is able to plant his foot and angle inwards, it’s hard to see him becoming more athletic in this area in obtaining true elite pass rush bend.
The inconsistency shows in some games, for example in the second half vs Virginia 2019 he played less square and used his straight arm well which was totally opposite to the first half where he allowed the tackle to get into his chest far too often. The plus sides are obvious, he can start immediately in a rotational role providing a nice pass rushing foil opposite an established defensive end.
Early 2nd round selection
Pittsburgh Vs Miami (All-22)
Pittsburgh Vs Clemson
Pittsburgh Vs UNC
Pittsburgh Vs Syracuse (All-22)
Pittsburgh Vs Virginia (All-22)
Pittsburgh Vs Stanford (Sun Bowl Extended Highlights) https://youtu.be/B6ZPWKUmORk
Pittsburgh Vs Georgia Tech - https://youtu.be/Xj2R-8pXPw8