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One player to keep an eye on this college season

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One player to keep an eye on this college season

Post  Big_Pete on Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:05 pm

This is the one guy I would most like to see in a Giants uniform next May (and he may not even be a first rounder).

Greg Jones- LB- Michigan State

6-1, 228lbs, Senior

2007- 78 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss
2008- 127 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss
2009- 154 tackles, 9 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss

The first thing you notice about Jones is his amazing production. That isn't always the best measure of an possible NFL prospect. But in this case it really stands out to me. Unlike many other prospects Jones doesn't have the strong supporting cast at Michigan State, yet he is really producing big time.

This guy can really tackle - Jones is one of the purest tacklers in College football, he has led his team in tackles since his freshman season.

Note that he makes a lot of plays in the offensive backfield. Jones is a very instinctive linebacker and he uses those instincts to make plays all over the field. He has good speed which allows him to cover sideline to sideline. He has the athletic ability to stick with backs and tight ends in pass coverage. He also brings a lot of leadership

The biggest concern for Jones is his size. At 6-1 228lbs, he is considered undersized for an NFL middle linebacker. But I don't see it as too much of an issue. Players like Jon Vilma, Jon Beason and DeMeco Ryans were all a similar size (if not smaller) at similar stages of their careers. I would expect to see Jones adding 10lbs to his frame by the time of the combine next year.

There has been a missing element from the Giants defence in recent years, and that is attitude. Too often I have seen missed tackles

Like many, I am not sold on the Giants LB corps. While Dillard and Goff may be adequate at MLB, I still think we need one top playmaker and leader, someone who can make the guys around him play better. I think Jones could play MLB or WLB.

But don't take my word on Jones, watch him for yourself...
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Re: One player to keep an eye on this college season

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:06 am

I always look forward to your mocks Pete, you know college football well. I'll keep an eye on this guy, that is a hell-of-alot of tackles

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Re: One player to keep an eye on this college season

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:00 pm

that is good to hear that you enjoy the mocks

There is another guy I really am keeping an eye on for next year.

DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State.

here is what Gil Brandt had about him

College: Oregon State
Height/Weight: 6-1 3/8, 306

A native of New Zealand, Paea grew up in Tonga playing rugby. He did not learn to speak English until he was 16. Paea is strong (he can bench press 225 pounds 44 times) with great quickness for a defensive tackle. Considering his lack of experience, Paea is very mature on the field. He has played in 26 games over the past two years. He's destined to become a first-round pick and should play at a high level for many years.

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

2009 numbers:

The 6-foot-1, 311-pound senior recorded 43 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He also forced four fumbles and recovered another.

Most recent ranking:
Paea was ranked seventh in our final Pac-10 top-30 list last year.

Making the case for Paea:
The 2009 first-team All-Pac-10 defensive tackle and two-time team co-captain is perhaps the most powerful player in the nation. You've surely seen the video by now. It's likely that Paea will set a new bench press standard at the NFL combine next spring, after which he should cement his status as an early-round -- perhaps first-round -- draft pick. But Paea is not
just strong. His 30-inch vertical jump and 4.37 shuttle run are defensive tackle records at Oregon State. He's an ex-rugby star who is still learning the nuances of football, but his explosive quickness combined with his power makes him almost unblockable one-on-one at the college level. His 19.5 career sacks rank third on the Beavers' career list. He's on the Lombardi, Outland and Nagurski watch lists. He's also made a number of preseason All-America lists: Phil Steele, Lindy's, Athlon and


Brandt and ESPN has listed him at 310, but most places list him around 290, and he seems awefully athletic for a big guy. I expect he may have bulked up a little this offseason.

Here is why I think he will be an option for the Giants. He is very strong, athletic and exceptionally quick. He would be a very good fit long term playing beside Linval Joseph.

Remember that Cofield and Alford are free agents after the season, plus Bernard might be around, but he is ageing. DT will be a need, it is just a matter of when. Cofield at least is going to get attention from other teams and I suspect Alford will too. The Giants will have enough priorities elsewhere figuring out what to do with Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Ahmad Bradshaw, Matthias Kiwanuka and Aaron Ross (all of whom will be off contract), plus there is the lingering Osi situation.
If Cofield and Alford leave, we have only Canty, Joseph and perhaps Bernard on the roster at DT, leaving the cupboard reasonably bare
I like the idea of teaming someone like Paea inside with Joseph and setting the anchor for our defense for the forseeable future.
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Re: One player to keep an eye on this college season

Post  NYG Hampton 27 on Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:53 pm

44 reps is damn impressive, I'll try to keep an eye on him too

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Re: One player to keep an eye on this college season

Post  Big_Pete on Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:12 am

NYG Hampton 27 wrote:44 reps is damn impressive, I'll try to keep an eye on him too

watch the video links...
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Re: One player to keep an eye on this college season

Post  Big_Pete on Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:00 am

Interestingly Greg Jones has bulked up this offseason, he goes into his finalk year at 237 lb

here is an interesting article about him,

Spartans' Jones looking to increase size ... and reputation with NFL scouts
July 30, 2010
By Chris Steuber
The Sports Xchange/

The shield Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones wears on the field is fashionable and can deflect the bright rays from the sun and shade his eyes from the opposition. It doesn't block the criticism Jones hears constantly about his dimensions.

Jones is an undersized linebacker many scouts view as a tweener in that he doesn't have a definitive position in the NFL; some view him as an outside linebacker and others as more of a pass-rush specialist.

In his first three years at Michigan State, during which he played at or below 229 pounds, Jones never missed a game and started 33 of 39 games. He has served primarily as the team's inside or strong-side linebacker. While questions continue about his size, Jones spent the entire offseason conditioning and strengthening his 6-foot-1 frame and enters fall camp at 237 pounds.

"Greg has worked extremely hard on changing his body," Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said. "He has also worked hard individually to become more balanced as a football player. He's already been an outstanding player, but I think that he will be a more complete player this year."

As a junior last year, Jones had a breakout season and recorded 154 tackles, 14 for a loss and nine sacks. There were rumblings that Jones could leave for the NFL, but after discussing his football future with his parents, teammates and Dantonio, he decided it was best for him to stay in East Lansing for another season.

The decision he made was based on the opinions of the support system that surrounded him and the disappointing third-round grade the NFL Draft Advisory Board projected for him. Jones insists earning his degree and helping Michigan State win a championship, after a disappointing 6-7 season in 2009, was his ultimate influence in returning to MSU.

After he received the third-round grade, Jones flirted with leaving Michigan State for about a week. In a perfect world, Jones hoped for at least a second-round grade, but that didn't happen, and he turned to Dantonio for advice. Dantonio spoke with a number of scouts and at least four general managers around the league on Jones' behalf. And, the consensus feeling from those in the know was that it was best for Jones to stay in school to add bulk and to improve his pass defense.

"In this defense, I blitz a lot, so there are times where I'm not able to get an interception, because I'm getting after the quarterback and applying pressure," Jones said. "It's hard to judge me on that, because I have other responsibilities in this scheme. But, if I did drop back more, I would have more opportunities to get interceptions."

Being an all-around playmaker at the linebacker position is important, and the fact that Jones doesn't drop into coverage often and has yet to record an interception in his career is a concern. However, one longtime NFL scout with whom Dantonio spoke thought otherwise and believed that Jones, who has led the Spartans in tackles the past three years, was ready for the NFL despite his questionable ball and coverage skills.

"There's no question that he's undersized and has to improve against the pass, but his deficiency against the pass has to do with the scheme -- not him," the scout said. "Jones is one of the most dynamic linebackers that I've ever seen. He goes sideline-to-sideline so effortlessly and is always in position to make a play.

"When I look back at this year's draft class and see inside guys like [Sean] Weatherspoon and [Daryl] Washington, as well as all of the hybrids that were available; Jones could have been up there with all of them."

Receiving a grade from the advisory board is not the end all/be all. In many respects, the draft process serves as another season for draft-eligible players. There have been a number of prospects throughout the years who didn't play up to their potential between the months of August through December, but flourished during January-April at all-star games or workouts and ended up increasing their value.

Even if Jones had decided to leave school, he's still uncertain if things would have been different.

"That would have been tough, because I wasn't able to participate in the Senior Bowl or any of the all-star games," Jones said. "The first time I'd see any coaches or scouts would have been at the Scouting Combine. I don't know if it would have changed my grade, but it probably wouldn't have made things worse. It's hard to say."

Entering the 2010 season, Jones is the No. 1-rated senior inside linebacker by He's not only the nation's premier inside linebacker, but he also has the ability to play all three linebacker positions, which makes him more attractive to teams at the next level.

When asked about the position he translates best to at the next level, Jones said, "I feel most comfortable in the middle where I can take control of the defense. But, if there's already a veteran in the middle, I'm fine playing on the strong side or weak side. Although, if I had my choice between the two, I'd rather play on the weak side if I'm not in the middle."

Wherever he plays in the NFL, Jones' size offers a team options, not limitations.
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