• Making the Case for Dre’Mont Jones as DL1

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    Dre’Mont Jones is still being slept on in 2021. The Broncos believe that he is primed for a third-year breakout and so should the IDP community.

    The Reviews

    The Broncos will have Dre'Mont Jones, their 2019 third-round pick, taking on an expanded role after last season. In 2020, he totaled 6.5 sacks, 41 combined tackles (26 Solos), 3 TFL, and an incredible 11 QB hits, despite playing in only eight games.

    Broncos General Manager George Paton said, “Dre’Mont is a breakout player. You just watch the tape last year and see how he’s improved in the run game. I think he has good inline pass pressure. He has great hands in the run game and great quickness as a pass rusher.”

    Jones even received a vote of confidence from Von Miller — “I played with a lot of great defensive tackles right next to me and Dre’Mont — he’s more explosive than all those guys.”

    So what's in store for Dre’Mont in 2021? Let’s see if we can piece together why the Broncos believe he is ready to breakout.

    2018 — Senior season, Ohio State

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    In the 2018 senior season for Ohio, Jones had his number called after first-round NFL draftee Nick Bosa went down with an injury. The redshirt junior was more than capable of filling in, taking on a more significant role for Ohio, starting in 14 games and finishing the season with 8.5 sacks and 43 tackles. Some of his highlights were spectacular:

    On top of those stats mentioned above, Jones became the first defensive lineman in OSU history to score two defensive touchdowns in a single season that year:

    When Jones decided he would be entering the NFL draft in 2019, analysts said he would work best in a 4-3 defense and would not be ideal for a 3-4 scheme. Those comments didn't derail Jones as he continued to develop for the Broncos 3-4 schemes throughout the first two years.

    He demonstrated that he can evolve, bucking any trends or doubts cast upon him as just the type of player that those analysts pegged him to be.

    2019 — NFL Rookie Season

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    Jones' rookie season went as planned. His usage was minimal, with 284 snaps played.  Jones took advantage of this 27% snap share on the defensive line and garnered an interception and 3.5 sacks with a combined 14 tackles and 6 QB hits. He also contributed on special teams with an additional 111 snaps.

    Although the above stats are nothing to write home about, his natural ability shone in those 284 snaps and it was the ease with which he was able to create QB pressures. The quick shiftiness of his feet and hands are truly special, as demonstrated in the video below.

    2020 — NFL Sophmore Season

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    Jones returned from IR in week 7 and recorded his first sack of the year. From week 7 on, he played in 50+% of snaps. Jones' snap share increased to almost 80% from week 11 onward. It was his exceptional ability to pressure the QB that again stood out, with his pass-rush grade jumping from 70.3 as a rookie, to 78.3.

    Jones ended the season with 55 tackles (34 solos), 10 TFL, 6.5 sacks, and 2 passes defended. That is some serious bang for your buck.

    2021 — Breakout Season

    Jones is just 24 years old and shows improvement year after year, as highlighted above. He demonstrates the ability to morph and adapt in situations where draft analysts said he wouldn't, which is the 3-4 schemes that Ed Donatell & Vic Fangio run defensively.

    Furthermore, the reviews from both the GM and Von Miller added another motive to get Jones into your IDP league squad.

    The departure of Derek Wolfe should solidify Jones' role for the Broncos this year. Last year, Jones was typically used as a player to create opportunities for the other edge rushers. That didn't stop him from putting up his insane numbers on limited opportunities. 

    With the likelihood that Jones starts in all games this season, the sky is the limit in 2021 if Donatell and Fangio allow him to take the reigns of the Broncos' defensive line. With a healthy Von Miller returning, taking attention off Jones, he could potentially post incredible stats and show his astonishing stature as a top 10 DL for IDP.

    Thank you for reading! You can find more of my work on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @FF_ProdigalSon and, while you're there, be sure to follow @IDPGuys too!

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