Day 2 prospect: Patrick Jones II, EDGE, Pittsburgh
One place to look for defensive line prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft is Pittsburgh. There are several quality players, but one that could provide the Chiefs with some pass rush on the edge is Patrick Jones II. He’s a little lean for what Spagnuolo usually looks for in a defensive end standing at 6’6″ and 255 pounds but has the length.
Unlike Basham, Jones displays an explosive first step off the line of scrimmage and shows the body control to bend around tight corners without losing speed. His most effective pass rush moves outside of his speed rush include an inside long-arm, inside swim, and a dip and rip. He does a good job of keeping his hands active with good accuracy. While there are flashes of his power in his pass rush, utilizing his power more consistently would bring more success.
Against the run, Jones shows excellent lateral agility to attack outside runs. Whether he’s play side and staying in front of the running back to force a cutback or working backside in pursuit, his range shows up here. When facing read options, he stays disciplined on the edge. To shed blocks in the run game, Jones has a lot of success utilizing the push-pull technique.
Due to having a somewhat slender frame, there isn’t much room to put on more weight. Jones could likely add about 10-15 pounds tops, but he will likely never bypass 270. Adding some mass would help him be more stout against the run. While his hand placement and timing are very good, his initial punch doesn’t come with heavy hands. Rarely will you see his first strike knock an offensive tackle off balance. When he converts his speed to power with a long-arm bull rush, he tends to have a lot of success, so utilizing that combo more frequently would be beneficial.
Overall, Patrick Jones II has a variety of pass-rushing moves and mental processing to be a three-down starter in the NFL. He would benefit from a rotation during his rookie season as he adds some mass to his frame, but by year two should be a viable starting defensive end in an even front defense. His speed off the edge on passing downs and the ability to get around the arc quickly is something Kansas City needs the opposite of Frank Clark.