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Prospect Profiles: LB Greg Jones, Michigan State

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I think this is a really cool picture. Anyway, you can’t talk about Giants potential prospects without talking linebacker and here comes another one I’m going to  be profiling.

Jones is most likely a middle linebacker or Weak side linebacker in the N.F.L.  so he might not fit the need of a strong side backer for the Giants, but let’s profile him anyway.


Born October 5th 1988. Senior

Official Senior Bowl Weigh In information:

Height: 5117 (that’s 5/11 and 7/8 inches)

Weight: 240 pounds

Hands: 10 1/8 inch

Length: 32 4/8 inches

Wingspan: 77 1/8 inches

Wes Bunting tweeted that some scouts were not impressed by Greg Jones weigh in and were’ hoping that he was taller.


Career: 464 tackles, 3 Forced Fumbles, 2 Interceptions


105 tackles (49 solo), 1 sack, 2 INT

Big Games:

vs Wisconsin: 8 tackles

vs Illinois 14 tackles

@ Iowa 9 tackles

@ Penn State 3 tackles

Captial One Bowl: Alabama  8 tackles

2009: was a Tackling MACHINE. 153 tackles and had at least 8 tackles in every single game of the season 14 or more tackles 4 times. 7 sacks on the season

Valermo Bowl Game @TexasTech 13 tackles

vs Penn State 15 tackles, 1 INT

He was a productive player in college who could really find the player with the ball.


The first video is from a game vs Iowa in 2010 (he’s not highlighted so you have to watch for him on your own). I can’t find any better videos for Greg Jones hopefully there will be more that comes out.

[pro-player width=’530′ height=’253′ type=’video’][/pro-player]

Scouting Reports (adam warwas)

Position ranking: #1

Strengths: Greg Jones has the athleticism that NFL teams covet at the linebacker position. He shows very good burst when releasing to pursue the ballcarrier. Quick footed and plays balanced when sifting and scraping away from potential blockers. Attacks the line of scrimmage on isolation runs with no hesitation. A clean wrap-up tackler who shows the propensity to quickly break down in space, square shoulders, wrap arms and drive inside to make sure tackles. Gap disciplined and shows very good key and diagnose recognition–Good instincts. Shows value as a pass rusher with good initial quickness off the line of scrimmage and a quick closing burst to get on top of the quarterback. Also shows a sharp spin move on outside pass rush. Jones shows good depth when asked to drop into zone coverage and looks to have the hips to turn and run with tight ends and tailbacks. A three year starter and leader of the defense.

Needs Improvement: Doesn’t have great size to stay inside at the pro level. Has worked to add weight from last season, but hasn’t improved strength enough in his upper body to consistently disengage from lineman. Depends on athleticism, needs to work on technique when taking on lineman, prefers to avoid front face contact. Has good but not great speed to get to the sideline and can be late at times to pursue from his inside containment. After initial momentum is stopped has a hard time getting himself back in the play. Will be overaggressive and over pursue or bite on the quick play-fake at times, but has shown improvement.

Bottom Line: Greg Jones is the best inside linebacker in what is shaping out to be an average class. He has improved every year that he’s played and shows small improvements game to game which is sure to impress teams about his work habits. Has the ideal combination of pure athleticism and instincts for the position but lacks the great strength and size we see from the elite inside linebackers at the NFL level. His skill set and abilities may be best suited as a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 where I believe he could flourish. Has upside as a pass rusher and can be a real weapon in this area if used correctly. Jones has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career despite his physical play. His coverage skills are above adequate and improving. A team will be glad to have Jones, and as long as he continues to stay healthy, he should be a long time starter in the NFL.

Draft projection: 2nd round


Positives: Terrific production, recorded 465 tackles and 16.5 sacks in four years at MSU… Natural leader at the middle linebacker position, works hard both on and off the field… Good speed… Excellent pass rusher, sack total speaks for itself, has wide variety of pass-rushing moves and is explosive off the edge… Has strong upper body and uses it to bring down small ball carriers, but will need to lower pad level more in the NFL and rely on more sound wrap-up technique… Plays with a very high motor and a lot of toughness, durability is not an issue, has not missed a game due to injury… Adequate at getting off of blocks after being engaged, but needs to improve at disengaging when getting engulfed near the line of scrimmage… Has speed and quickness to effectively drop into zone coverage and blanket tight ends and running backs on short routes… Can be a huge hitter, forced three fumbles during 2010 campaign… Has potential to be an electric performer and leader at the next level.

Negatives: Plays out of control at times, will miss tackles if taking a bad angle… Has good frame, but could stand to add some bulk if he is to be highly effective blitzing up the middle in the NFL… Displays stiff hips in man coverage and has difficulty staying with players at the cut, needs to display better man coverage skills to play inside in a 3-4… Needs to take better pursuit angles when playing away from the ball, can get caught in traffic when running sideline to sideline… Shows lack of discipline on some plays, gets out of position and does not always maintain gap responsibilities… May be best suited playing on the outside in the NFL as a pass rusher.

CBS Draft Scout

Read & React: Very instinctual player, which is why he can play the middle with an average frame. Might take a false step on bootlegs and misdirection but reacts and accelerates quickly enough to prevent big plays. Sees the ball so well inside that linemen must get more than a hand on him to negate his playmaking ability.Run defense: A bit smaller than teams prefer as an in-the-box presence, yet very effective as a run defender. Flows to the ball and reads his keys well, at times moving towards the play side before the snap. Picks his way through traffic on most plays but gets caught up in trash and engulfed by offensive linemen at times due to his small frame. Plays with leverage, however, against blocks to hold his ground or bounce off to chase plays down the field. Stays low to the ground to defeat cut blocks with his hands. Also uses his hands or a swim move to avoid approaching linemen, albeit consistently. Is a bit aggressive in his angles; quicker backs can beat him to the corner on occasion.Pass defense: Fluid pass defender in space, owns the hips and athleticism to stay with running backs out of the backfield. Keeps athletic position when greeting backs in the hole, reads and reacts quickly to out routes or square-ins. Will take a step in on play action and overrun routes, but recovers well enough to make a play on the ball. Faces match-up problems against taller, stronger tight ends over the middle. Has not intercepted a pass or knocked away many passes.Tackling: Excellent pursuit tackler. Excels as a drag-down tackler in traffic or in space, but can be explosive as well when lined up. Goes sideline-to-sideline, giving great effort to chase down fast ballcarriers in order to prevent touchdowns. A bit undersized to stop larger running backs and tight ends in their tracks, but plays with a low center of gravity to hold them up until help arrives. Typically flows well to the ball but will overrun plays occasionally because of his aggressive style. Inconsistent getting off linemen blocks inside but defeats those from most tight ends on the edge. Could be an exceptional special teams coverage unit performer.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Effective blitzer because of his ability to anticipate the snap count, read gaps and explode through them. Uses hands to defeat pulling guards and fullbacks in the hole. Plays with leverage, gets under the shoulder of guards to beat them inside when the space is available. Has speed to turn the corner when blitzing from outside. Hustles toward the ball until it is away. Good change of direction to track down mobile quarterbacks in the pocket or chase them down outside of it. His lack of size allows linemen to latch on if they get a hand on him, though he still sometimes manages to get a hand on backs coming through the vacated hole while engaged.

Intangibles: Considered the team’s greatest playmaker and leader on defense, as well as a solid young man. Voted co-captain by coaches and teammates. Gives full effort in weight room and on the practice field. Mentors and commands respect from younger players. Durable performer who hasn’t missed a game in three years despite mixing it up in the box for half of those games. (rest of the scouting report here)

Instincts: As a four-year starter, Jones is incredibly instinctive. He’s a read and react linebacker who gets after the ball. Makes his read and gets after the ball on run plays. On bootlegs and designed roll outs, Jones tends to make a false step before correcting himself. Does a good bit of work pre-snap to adjust himself to the side of the ball the play is coming. Looked much better as a senior moving teammates around.


Pass rush: Gets at the quarterback more than his stats may indicate. Although he sometimes has trouble on blocks, Jones closes when he has an open lane to rush. Has a good rip move that should only get better as he gets stronger in the NFL. Was typically used on stunts at Michigan State.

Pursuit: Jones could become a real terror if he learns better pursuit angles. Although he’s gotten better as a senior, Jones has had issues in the past with blockers. Instead of engaging, he’ll often find an angle around

Run defense: Has a tendency to get pushed around in run support. Needs to do a better job disengaging from blockers. Has been wildly productive because he reads the play quickly and gets after the ball carrier. Solid against the outside and inside run. Shows enough athleticism to move sideline-to-sideline. Doesn’t have long playing speed to track down speed backs

As a linebacker prospect, Jones is solid. No areas of his game really are spectacular. But he’s also not a detriment in any area that can’t be made better as a professional. He’s improved physically every year he’s been at Michigan State and still has plenty of room to grow. (written after last season, not this season)


  • Struggles to stack and shed blockers
  • Lacks some bulk and size
  • Could be a little more physical
  • Not a punishing tackler; doesn’t deliver a lot of big hits
  • Only two forced fumbles in 39 games
  • Strictly a 4-3 weakside linebacker until he adds mass to body frame
  • Could improve hand useStrengths:
  • Great speed and closes in a hurry
  • Elite sideline-to-sideline range
  • Covers a lot of ground in zone coverage
  • Excellent change of direction and agility
  • Love his motor and gives 100 percent effort
  • Extroardinarily productive
  • Starter since freshman year
  • Good tackling technique; wraps up and rarely misses
  • Consistent tackler in space or in traffic
  • Nice vision and awareness
  • Comfortable in space and under control
  • Accelerates to the ball-carrier
  • Outstanding instincts
  • Effecient with minimal wasted movements
  • Great timing and pass rush sense
  • Fluid hips
  • Big-time leader with terrific work ethic
  • Summary: Jones reminds me a lot of 2010 linebacking prospect Daryl Washington out of TCU because they are both ridiculously athletic, rangy weakside linebackers. Jones is a run-and-hit WILL linebacker who finds ways to make plays and has great intangibles. I’d like to see his size get up to around 235-238 as opposed to being below 230 pounds.

    Jones plays inside linebacker at Michigan State, but is going to probably have to move out to the weakside in the NFL. I’m giving Jones a second-round grade to start the 2010 college football season, and I expect him to get drafted in the top 50 picks when it’s all said and done. If he has a monster senior year and puts on some size, he could very well become a first-round pick.

    Player Comparison: Will Witherspoon. Witherspoon is a talented, productive weakside linebacker who possesses a very similar playing style to the Michigan State product


    Big Board Rankings 60th 22

    Footballfanspot 19th

    cbsdraftscout 58th

    Sidelinescouting 54th

    Where the Mocks Have Him Falling 2nd round pick # 36Denver Broncos 2nd round pick #52 NY Giants 2nd Round Pick #56 New Orleans Saints

    Bartolis Final Thoughts

    Greg Jones  is a good football playerand a great leader who plays a position of need for the Giants and will have to be considered by the NY Giants if they are doing their due diligence.

    The biggest question about Greg Jones is…where does he play in the N.F.L.?

    Is he big enough to play inside in the 4-3 (most pepole don’t believe so)

    Is he stout enough to play the strongside linebacker spot where?

    Is he fast enough to play on the weakside?

    This is Jones biggest question, teams have to figure out where he can play. But the question about whether or not he Can play is crazy. Jones will bring a good mentality to the team he will be a hard worker, he will contribute on Special teams at the very least and most likely he will be a franchise starting Linebacker (I just mean he can start for 5 or 6 years).

    I would have no problem with the Giants drafting Greg Jones in the second round of the N.F.L. draft because of regardless of where Jones is going to play (Middle, SAM or WILL) he has an outstanding chance to be a productive starter in the N.F.L.

    Previous Profiles


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    Kyle Rudolph


    Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

    Bruce Carter North Carolina


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    DeMarco Murray

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    7 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: LB Greg Jones, Michigan State”

    1. […] Rumors « Prospect Profiles: LB Greg Jones, Michigan State […]

    2. Steve B. says:

      Dont really have a problem with Greg Jones, but I just prefer Bruce Carter to him, even with the injury.

      And thing about Jones is you cant argue about the production he had, and it would be nice to have our LB on the field on 3rd downs.

      But there are a few issues, “plays out of control” is a bit of a worrisome, This is where I would rather have Carter, b/c Carter would not necessarily get beat, he is very cautious about being in the right place, he might not make as many big plays as Jones, but He definitely wont hurt you either.

      Then there is the size/position question, where Do you put him? Dont seem his as a MLB, WLB is Boley, and just dont seem him being able to shed blockers as a SLB.

      I can see Greg Jones playing in the NFL, i just am not sure its with the Giants, think a team needing a WLB will scoop him up. There are a lot of talented players in the 2nd-3rd round, just think Giants will go elsewhere, maybe corner or OL

      Top OLB for me is still Bruce Carter.

      • Mike K says:

        Of course, Jones could play Special Teams (another big area of need) for Giants next year, and potentially unseat Boley in 2012 or even 2013. Boley is a nice player, but he isn’t a franchise player you build around. Also, 2nd round pick you aren’t expecting somone to step in and be a starter – though that would be a nice bonus – so you are more drafting for what he will become, than what he is now.

        If they get him in the 2nd it’s a fine pick. But by the time they get to the Giants, there may be better picks on the board. He may be a guy who is worth trading up for in the 3rd round if he slips into there.

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