2017 Raiders Draft Profile: NC State Safety Josh Jones

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Oct 29, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Boston College Eagles tight end Tommy Sweeney holds on to a catch as he is hit by North Carolina State Wolfpack safety Josh Jones (11) during the second half at Carter Finley Stadium. Boston College won 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Raiders Draft Profile

Name: Josh Jones

School: NC State

Position: Safety

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 220 pounds

Stats: 229 tackles, 7 INT, 17 PD, 3 FF, 2 FR

 

Ball Skills: In the background of every successful defense, safety play looms large. To put it another way, Josh Jones’ abilities will help an NFL team. The film shoes Jones high-pointing the ball in the air. Meaning, he makes a play on it while it’s at the highest point. In addition, his quick hands break up passes, with or without contact.

 

Tackling: Jones shines here. Versus the run, he will surf through the pile to locate the receiver. Upon finding the ballcarrier, Jones does not hesitant to physically announce his arrival. More importantly, is the way Jones strikes the ballcarrier. Using his shoulder and never lowering his head. In today’s NFL, anything less is a guaranteed penalty. Yet, Jones’ power isn’t his best trait. While making plays in space, Jones will quickly wrap up, using very strong hands. The play suddenly ends when Jones snares an opponent.

Athleticism: At the combine, Jones ran a 4.41 40, which is fine if you care about that number. With that said, the numbers that jump out most are 37.5 inches and 11 feet. These are the vertical leap and broad jump totals. Without delay, these stats, coupled with tape illustrate the explosion within Jones. As a safety, you need to cover distance and a variety of receiver. Consequently, on deep throws you have to accurately time jumps.

 

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Play Recognition:  For all of Jones’ skills, there is an area of improvement. Times exist when he’ll look too long at a play instead of acting. Conversely, he will jump a route too soon and expose the vertical behind him. There must be a balance of aggression and patience. Jones’ willingness to hit can run him into trouble. Granted, this is a lot to ask of a rookie, but Jones can handle this task.

Raiders Role: Pairing Jones will Karl Joseph gives the Raiders a young, hungry safety duo. Possessing the ability to hit could shift Joseph to free safety while Jones plays in the box.  However, if Joseph stays at SS, Jones’ athletic gifts, timing and break on the ball gives him a chance at FS as well. Now is the time to build a safety corps for the present and future.

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