Scouting Report: Deion Jones, LB

Would the Patriots consider taking an undersized LB early in the draft?

Would the Patriots consider taking an undersized LB early in the draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Is Linebacker the biggest need for the Patriots? Probably not, but in my opinion it is a position that could and should be addressed either in free agency or in the draft.  The Patriots have two young and talented guys, but after that, the waters muddy a bit. With that in mind, I decided to watch a Linebacker that lacks in size, but not in talent.

It is a little before 11:30 pm. I was not planning on writing up this report until tomorrow, but then my Cyclones went ahead and lost to Texas Tech in basketball tonight.  Instead of laying in bed and stewing about it, I thought I would be productive and crank this report out now.  So if you sense anger behind these words or more than normal misspellings and run on sentences, you will know the reason. Luckily, the player I was scouting put a smile on my face so this shouldn’t be to harsh. Enough babbling, here is my report on Linebacker Deion Jones.

Name: Deion Jones (#45)

School: LSU (Sr.)

Height: 6’1″ (Senior Bowl)

Weight: 219 Lbs. (Senior Bowl)


Jones is one of those undersized Linebackers with great athleticism and movement skills.  He is quick to recognize the play and has a great first step to get downhill and attack the play.  He uses his hands well to keep bigger Offensive Linemen off of him. Jones also shows good speed,flexibility, and balance to get around players, but also the toughness and physicality to fight through blocks as well. Jones has the speed and hip flexibility to run with Tight Ends and Runningbacks in the passing game. He shows good awareness and lateral agility to drop into zone as well.  Jones is very aggressive but smart, rarely making the wrong reads and taking himself out of plays. He also was one of the better special teams players in college football for the last four years and can be an immediate contributor there as well.


Right off the bat, size is a concern. Obviously it would be nice if he could bulk up some to handle the rigors of taking on NFL Offensive Lineman without sacrificing any of his athletic traits. He also only has one year of experience as a starter. He showed great knowledge of the game, but he still has lots to learn like reading run/pass keys,pursuit angles and timing on his blitzes.  There are times when bigger lineman were able to get their hands on him and take him out of plays.  Jones also needs to work on his tackling fundamentals as it will be important for a guy his size to be a solid wrap up tackler if he is going to have success in the NFL.


I will admit, for the past couple of seasons I have grown an affinity for some of these undersized, athletic Linebackers.  I have day dreamed about what Bill Belichick could scheme up with a player like this. To me, Jones looks like a 4 down player in the Patriots system. He looks like that Swiss Army Knife that Belichick has tried to find for some time now. If put into the right situations, not only could he make some plays, but it would free up other players to do other things. A guy like Jones could not only free up the other Linebackers, but the Safeties as well. A lot of people love Myles Jack, and while Jack is the superior athlete, Jones can be asked to play the same kind of role and be successful in the NFL. I gave Jones a late 2nd round grade and could easily see him go earlier if he tests well at the Combine.





39 Responses to “Scouting Report: Deion Jones, LB”

  1. Russell says:

    MOCK up-date;
    I’m still projecting DE Chandler Jones to the 49ers, but for their 3d-4th picks this year. trading jones saves the Patriots 7.5 mil of cap room. With Jarod Mayo retiring and taking the LB coaching job, the Patriots save 11.4 mil of cap space. Scott Chandler is gone; another 3 mil. saved from the cap.
    Total cap room saved; 21.9 mil. to sign contract extensions, to CB Butler, LB’s Hightower, Collins.
    2nd #60 – Joshua Perry LB
    3d (49ers trade)- Nick Vannett TE
    3d-Bronson Kaufusi DE
    3d (comp.) -Parker Ehinger OL
    4th (49ers trade)- Jatavis Brown -SS/LB
    4th- Kenyan Drake- RB
    6th (Houston)- Kevin Hogan- QB, or Cody Kessler- QB
    6th (comp.)- Alex Erickson-WR
    7th (Houston)- Kyle Friend- OL
    7th-Cole Croston- OL
    7th(comp.)- Joe Gore -OL

  2. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots Mock Draft.
    2 Germain Ifedi OT Texas A&M
    3 Scooby Wright lll ILB Arizona
    3 Jack Allen C Michigan State
    4 Harlan Miller CB SE Louisiana
    5 Charone Peake WR Clemson
    6 Spencer Drago G Baylor
    6 Tra Carson RB Texas A&M
    7 Zac Brooks RB Clemson
    7 Jay Lee WR Baylor

    Free Agent
    Chris Ivory RB Jets
    Rishard Matthews WR Dolphins
    Ian Williams NT 49ERS

    Celtics have a great future with team and picks but I’d like to see a charge put into there
    playoffs trade for Danilo Gallinari of Denver.

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    At a regional combine LB Jatavis Brown runs a 4.47 40yrs 5″11. 226 Ferris St. DT/DL Justin Zimmer 6’3 303 4.89 40yrs. 33 vert. 46 reps at 225

    • Russell says:

      I sure like Brown he needs to move up on my mock.

    • steve earle says:

      Yea, not surprised he looked fast on film. As I said, sideline to sideline.
      @Russell, where do you think he should be rated now? Im worried me 4th in last mock could be to late.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Go to

        • steve earle says:

          Draft scout has him at 4-5 rds but last news there is from 12-6, 12-7 so not sure if his draft rd projection has been effected by his 4.47 as yet. Plus has so many different ? pages/sites I find it very hard to dig out facts on players like Brown from small schools. Any advice?

      • steve earle says:

        Wow in rereading my earlyer reply I really butchered the sentance, sorry guys.

  4. J H TARBORO says:

    A good free agent option that has boom or bust but more boom potential is the possibly re instated former ‘Cleveland Brown WR Josh Gordon, the Patriots have a great locker room and good leadership, it wouldn’t cost you much and could be the missing element and the type of outside WR, Brady needs at this stage of his career, before suspension, Gordon was one of the best in the game.I think we should take a chance and bring him to camp!!!

    • steve earle says:

      Well yea from a talent point of view sure but does BB think he’s likely to fit? Also has Goodall reinstated him yet? What I read his currant contract is around 1.1 mil or a little under so that fits but Cleveland GM says he’s open to taking Gordon back. One other thing the Players Ass has filed for early FA, how does that stand? I’m not really up to speed on all this yet what’s your info J H ?

  5. Jose Marques says:

    Chandler Jones trade to 49ers for 2round:

    2round 49ers:Jason Spriggs OT Indiana´
    2:Tyler Matakevich ILB Temple
    3:Maurice Canady CB Virginia Teck
    3:Eric Striker OLB Oklahoma
    4:Denver Kirkland G Arkansas
    5:Dwayne Washington RB Washington
    6:Theiren Cockran DE Minnesota
    6:Elijah Shumate S Notre Dame
    7:Tracy Howard CB Miami
    7:Devon Johnson RB/FB Marshall

    *many of these choices may be poorly designed but with pariots never know what might happen. I put Tyler matakevich in the second round, maybe not deserve but I think it is a exelente player and can help our team, you can not be a great athlete physically, not too high … but it has instincts and is a consistent player. another player I admire very much is Eric striker I would love to see him playing in new england. Sometimes it might be necessary to think outside the box.

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    Very true, but they didn’t keep him.

  7. Ryan says:

    Some guys I’d like to have seen at the combine, in no particular order:

    CB Lloyd Carrington
    DT Trevon Coley
    DT Destiny Vaeao
    OG Eric MacLain
    OLB Antwione Williams
    OLB Ian Seau
    OT Clay DeBord
    RB Leon Allen
    SS Michael Caputo
    WR Thomas Duarte
    WR Jordan Williams
    WR Mitch Mathews
    WR Devin Lucien

    I left off those already mentioned. I think that they did a good job with the invites this year if you ignore wide receiver and running back.

  8. Mike Gerken says:

    The Combine list is out:

    lots of snubs:
    Mike Thomas, WR Southern Miss
    Aaron Green, RB TCU
    Daniel Braverman, WR Western Michigan
    Kevin Byard, S Middle Tennessee

    There are others I would have thought would get an invite too that did not.

  9. Russell says:

    Chandler Jones trade to the 49ers for 2nd #37 MOCK;

    49ers 2nd #37- WR Braxton Miller
    2nd # 60– LB Joshua Perry
    3d#92– Traded to Saints for 4th 5th
    3d Comp.–TE Nick Vannett
    4th-(Saints)- DE Bronson Kaufusi
    4th- OL Parker Ehinger
    5th- (Saints)-QB Kevin Hogan
    6th- (Houston)- SS/LB Jatavis Brown
    6th Comp.- LB Antwione Williams
    7th ( Houston)- RB Keith Marshall
    7th-OL Kyle Friend

    • steve earle says:

      Do you really think LB Williams will slide into the 6th? I wouldn’t wait that long to take him but that’s just me. I’m still sticking with my last mock until the combine or something else proves me wrong.
      Speaking of the combine, how do they decide who to invite? I’m surprised by some of the snubs.

      • Russell says:

        Ya that could be to low for Williams even from a smaller school, tho he will not be at the Combine.

        • steve earle says:

          Yea I’m bumed Williams isn’t going to be there. Also Jatavis Brown and McEvoy missed the cut too if I’m not mistaken. I have four of my last mock absent if you count McGowan whom I’m not that surprised at because he wasn’t a starter.

    • Tim D says:

      This is my favorite mock yet. Addresses all the positions in basically the same point in the draft I would like them to be. I really like Hogan and have been mocking him to the Pats myself. I am surprised he is being as overlooked as he is. Ehinger is another that makes all my mocks. Higbee is my preference at TE. I think he’d be a great compliment to Gronk and could handle the load if(when) Gronk misses some time during the season. I’m wary of Braxton Miller though. Great athlete with minimal WR experience coming to a team that already has a hard time developing WR’s or even getting established WR’s to gel with Brady in the offense. I’ve read good things about his progress though.

      • Ryan says:

        Where would Hogan fit into next year’s team? We still have Jimmy G and of course Brady, so do we keep a third QB on the roster even though we won’t use him? Hogan may be good, but I don’t really see the point of drafting ANY quarterback this year.

        • Tim D says:

          The short answer is, he doesn’t, but If a franchise limited it’s draft prospects to players that will have a role the following year they are doing themselves a significant disservice. A 5th RD pick on a QB with the NE’s current situation is hardly a waste.
          It’s my understanding Garoppolo has two years left on his rookie contract meaning after this season there is a serious decision to be made. Brady appears to have somewhere between 3-5 years of good football ahead of him and he doesn’t sound like he is planning on walking away any time soon. Another year with Brady playing, arguably his best football, you may want to trade Garoppolo to make up for the next first rd draft pick that is vacated (Joking… I hope.) You don’t want to be caught with your pants down when Garoppolo and his agent decide he’s been working hard behind the best qb in the league and has showcased his abilities in joint practices and in pre-season and feels he is ready to be a starting QB. If he walks and you have nothing behind Brady with no long-term option. You draft Hogan to get familiar with the system for a year or two and learn to become a professional QB so you have a viable option behind Brady instead of UDFA or practice squad guys. Wouldn’t surprise me if next year McDaniels has a job opening he can’t refuse or our friends in Detroit are ready to move on from Stafford or any of the other numerous teams with poor QB play decide they want Jimmy G.

      • steve earle says:

        Generally agree with Ryan about a QB in the draft. There should be plenty of UDFA QB’s to pick up for the p-sqd after the draft so not much to be gained by using a pick for one.

      • Russell says:

        I think it’s time the Patriots carried 3 QB’s on the roster. Hogan is a great fit into the Patriots system (Kessler would be as well). Jimmy G is in the last year of his deal, and I think he resigns as long has the money is not to big. Hogan would be a smart choice “IF’ available in the draft.
        Cody Kessler would be my second choice, tho his size is not as good.

    • Tim D says:

      Another reason I like this mock, is Chandler Jones is traded. The money I think he will want and probably command as a FA is much too high for what he actually brings as a player. Unless his run-in with the law was a one time incident and brought his value down, I hope they don’t re-sign him. His sack numbers were misleading this year. Anyone that watches the game can see he is routinely pushed wide and usually easily handled one-on-one. I think he’s great in the run game though. Unfortunately, I think he is going to get paid like a premier pass rusher and, to me, he is clearly not. I guess I’d be fine with a pick around 100 next year after letting him walk, but moving into the early 2nd round if someone slides would be ok by me too.

  10. Russell says:

    I think there is little doubt coach Belichick drafts a LB. If Mayo takes the LB coaching job the Patriots are thin at LB. Hightower has missed time the last two years, and Collins missed two games this year.
    Contract issues; DE C. Jones, LB Hightower, LB Collins, CB Butler, and OT Vollmer and Canonn , all need new contracts in 2017. Not money enough for them all. Vollmer may retire, C. Jones traded, so a drafted guy is cheaper, at LB behind the two starters.

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    Mike, i’m excited to see a write up of Deion Jones, he was a player that i had no great knowledge of until Senior Bowl practice, he was an eye opener on game day, running around making tackles everywhere including special teams. He reminds of Oklahoma’s Eric Striker but his covering skills are a little better. The only problem is, the Patriots seems to have prototype as far as size for their LBs, 6’2-6’4 250-265lbs range. I really like the player, but would the Pats look past this player because of size. If not, Jones and Striker impress me tremendously.

    • steve earle says:

      Your point about the prototype Pats LB’s is well taken J H. I would love to see Bill take a guy like this though not sure he would go with his top pick for him. That’s why in my last mock I took a like kind of guy, Jatavis Brown, with the 4th rd pick. Bill is more likely to use a pick in that area for a non prototype guy imo.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Steve E. thanks for reminding me, i have to do more research on Jatavis Brown, i would love to see Eric Striker in New England, he has a connection to our Geneo Grissom, and i heard he has the ” fire” attitude similar to Brandon Browner, that charges up his team, and makes them want to go hit something. Deion Jones would be a smart choice as well.

        • steve earle says:

          The problem I had with Brown was finding enough film on him. What I did find impressed the heck out of me. On one play he came from his LOB position all the way across the field passing the MLB on the way to making the tackle near the far line. Either every one else on the field was really slow or this kid recognises and is really fast too. With that kind of speed he should be able to be taught to drop into coverage like a FS then hit like a SS. No telling about his blitz ability but as we know, speed kills. (See Denver)

        • steve earle says:

          P.S. I think Jatavis is one of the snubs.

        • steve earle says:

          J H, you might try a site called the hustle belt there seems to be some good footage there of Brown.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        Brown is on my list to look at as well. Remember last year that the Patriots drafted Matthew Wells in the 6th.

  12. Martyr says:

    My mock:

    2) Wlliam Jackson III CB
    3) Jordan Jenkins OLB
    3) Joe Haeg OT
    4) Paul McRoberts WR
    5) Tajae Sharp WR
    6) KJ Dillon S
    6) DJ Reader DT
    7) DeAndre Washington RB
    7) Kyle Friend OG

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