2013 Free Agents of interest – Part 15 – Greg Jones , OLB/MLB


Brad Jones – OLB/ILB: 6’ 3’’, 242 lbs, 26 y/o, 4th season, was drafted out of Colorado in the 7tht round in the 2009 draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Brad Jones is a veteran up and coming player. Sure he played as substitute every time a Packer starter went down with an injury, never getting the starting job in training camp over a teammate. Still he improved each year and Green Bay would be pleased to have him back. He played OLB and ILB in Dom Capers 3-4 scheme. Would he be a good fit in JDR 4-3 scheme? This is basically the question about him for the Broncos to evaluate and answer.

He has all the traits Denver FO looks to want in a player: he’s a team player, has great work ethics and is a reliable player. From this point of view he would be a great addition to an already good and young LB core in Denver.

Would he consider a Denver offer over a Green Bay one if they’d be close over the salary issue? Maybe, being a Colorado Buffaloe could help Denver cause, but he also has been a member of Green Bay locker room the past four years, so is not guaranteed that he would accept a Packer “hometown” discount.

For a positional point of view he firstly played OLB and then ILB, especially in 2012. He has coverage abilities but the Broncos scouting department has to do a fine job understanding if he could be comfortable thumping the run in the middle in a 4-3 alignment.

His career stats in regular season games as week 17 of 2012: he started 23 games out of 51 regular season game he played in; amassed 156 total tackles (110 solo and 46 assisted), he recorded 7 sacks (2 in 2012), 5 pass deflections (4 in 2012) and 1 forced fumble.

 

Why the broncos would be interested:

  • The Broncos could look for MLBs that have coverage abilities. Jones is big at 6-3 and 242 and could be the answer Denver is looking for in TEs coverage.
  • He looks to be a great fit for Denver defense from a character point of view.
  • Jones is on the verge of becoming a true NFL starter, but also is a good special teams player.
  • Despite being an up and coming player in the league, he won’t probably demand a huge deal. Since he’s still young he could accept a two-year 3-4 Million contract with some part of the money being guaranteed.

 

Why the Broncos could not pursuing him:

  • He never played as MLB in a 4-3 scheme.
  • Green Bay probably wants him back and will probably be able to match a 2 year 4 Million offer.
  • He also has history of injuries.
  • A part Green Bay, other teams (say Baltimore) are in need of a starting ILB. The one that would offer him the starting gig could probably end up being his choice.
  • Is not a bad year for drafting MLB in early rounds, Denver FO could feel more comfortable selecting an experienced college 4-3 MLB than a conversion project 3-4 ILB that played DE-OLB in college.
  • Cap issues: the Broncos will have to deal with a complicated cap situation, in 2013 the expected cap room will be less than 18,5 Million, but in 2014 handful of really good Broncos players will be UFA (Decker, Woodyard, Beadles, Walton i.e). Using some 2013 cap room for already made arrangement with one or two of these players could be the best way to go. In this case, I don’t see Denver pursuing other teams Fas for more than the veteran minimum.

 

Resume:

Brad Jones could bring attitude and be a finding at MLB. He has the physical tool to be the Broncos answer to TEs coverage that has been one problem during some match-up during 2012. He has coverage abilities and is big enough to fight with big receiving TEs that are dominating the NFL lately. He is still young and is probably looking for a starting gig to prove himself. Being him reported as hard worker I think he has a great chance to become starter for some team. That team could be possible Green Bay, that is rumored to wanting him back or another 3-4 team (Baltimore will need another ILB since Ray Lewis will retire this off-season). He could be a reasonable addition from a cap room point of view but is also a big project at 4-3 MLB, since he never played the position. Run stuffing could be the big question and Denver pro-personnel department really should do a great job analyzing him as a prospect at MLB. Adding a Buffaloe to the Broncos roster would be nice, even more if Jones would become the stout and really good MLB that, IMO, is missing in Denver roster since Al Wilson. My take is that he will play next season wherever he could be a starter from week 1.

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