Ronald Jones – Running Back
Weight: 200 Pounds
Ronald Jones NFL Draft Profile
The state of Texas has produced countless NFL running backs and Ronald Jones is more than likely the next one in line. As soon as he arrived in Los Angeles, he made an impact for the Trojan football team. He broke the single-season record for rushing yards by a freshman after he ran for 987 yards, as a backup.
Ever since his record-setting 2015, he has been the go-to man in the USC backfield. He split time again in 2016 but still cracked the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He also tallied 12 touchdowns on the ground. There were some pretty high expectations coming into 2017 and Jones delivered. He rushed for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns. The most impressive stat throughout Jones career is his 6.1 yards-per-carry average.
Jones is a speedy ball carrier and has the ability to hit that next gear once he hits the open field. He was a sprinter for the USC track team so he knows how to utilize his speed to the best of his abilities. Speed is a highly coveted attribute for draft prospects and Jones’ name is toward the top of the list when it comes to speed.
#25 has the capability to see where the holes are at the line of scrimmage. He can anticipate where the opening will be and actually sets up the defense before the hole appears. When a hole doesn’t open up he lowers his head and gets what he can. Jones hardly ever takes a loss.
Jones is a downhill runner with surprising force for a smaller back. He is always looking to get as much as he possibly can on each carry, whether that be one yard or 50. Even with his smaller frame, he packs a bit of a punch and can finish runs behind his pads.
Jones can make defenders miss inside the hole which is not something a lot of backs can do. He can stop on a dime and accelerate back up to speed in a short space. Even though he is not known as a power back, he can still be dangerous in between the tackles thanks to his explosiveness and swiftness.
Jones’ effort is not the reason for his lack of pass protection ability but rather the fact he doesn’t have the frame to withstand blocks against much bigger defenders. This will hinder his ability to stay on the field in certain situations which in turn hurts his draft stock.
Jones has not been used much as a receiver during his tenure at Southern Cal. He caught just one touchdown pass in each season. It appears that Jones has the skill set to be a pass catcher at the next level but he just hasn’t been able to show it off. The Combine should be the first stage he can utilize and prove he can be a formidable pass catcher.
Sometimes Jones will not wait long enough for a play to develop and just go get what he can before it is necessary. He can sense a hole opening up and when it does it is a beautiful thing to watch but too many times he is going to fast and overruns the play. This was especially evident during plays with a pull, whether it be a tight end or guard.
Ronald Jones is an under the radar type of player who may slip out of the first round but whoever does get him will get a football player. He can be utilized on special teams as a returner and a change of pace back until he proves he can handle a full load at running back.
NFL Player Comparison
Teams With Need At Running Back
Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills
New York Giants