Josh Jones brings even more physicality to Green Bay Packers’ defensive backfield
Josh Jones wasn’t high on anybody’s draft board, but with the announcement that he was the Green Bay Packers second pick in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, his name quickly became recognizable among all Packers fans watching Friday night.
At 6-3, 200 pounds, Jones adds the exact same measurables that CB Kevin King brings to the table, meaning one thing – Ted Thompson is making it a point to go bigger, faster and more physical in the defensive backfield.
Where to play Jones?
Well, it’s pretty clear from this selection that Jones will most likely step in at the slot position for Dom Capers’ defense.
With the loss of Micah Hyde at the position when he left in free agency, the Packers have been looking at ways to minimize that loss with a player who can step in and play right away.
Here is what NFL.com says are his strengths: “Possesses prototypical combination of size and speed. Has acceleration and top-end speed to range all over the field. Plus athletic ability and reactive quickness. Has ability to disguise his coverage before sprinting back to centerfield. Has experience with both safety spots. Fluid in his movement and is an explosive leaper when challenging at the high-point. Has the ball skills to rake it or take it.”
Those are attributes that Packers fans haven’t seen much of over the past few years, but could be seeing more of in the coming years if Jones fits the bill.
Again, here is NFL.com: “His aggression is a double-edged sword. Will come in too hot looking to lay the lumber and end up missing his mark as a tackler. Needs to do better job of coming to balance as a tackler. From zone coverage, can be a little slow to anticipate routes and squeeze the throwing windows. Gets hyper-focused on quarterback and will lose track of his assignments. Will bite on play-action bait and get drawn out of position.”
If aggression is his weakness, I’ll take it. Coaches can work with over-aggression and turn it into a positive if they work with the player and teach them the nuances of the game and how to turn those attributes into skills.
So far the Packers have, in this draft, identified specific defensive needs and are bringing in players who will address those needs.
Lance Zierlein had this to say about Jones:
"“Jones is a height-weight-speed prospect to be sure, but he’s not just a traits-based safety. Jones has the appetite for hitting that teams will want around the box and he has the speed and ball skills to range and help against vertical threats from a deep safety spot. The big area of concern will be Jones’ ability to play with better discipline in coverage and as a tackler. He has the ability to become a good, long-time starter in the league.”"
Of course we won’t know what we have with these first two defensive players selected tonight, but this is an excellent start in finding players to improve a part of the team’s game that kept them from participating in and winning a Super Bowl last season.
Stay tuned …