From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Indiana LB Cam Jones.
#4 CAM JONES/LB INDIANA – 6’1’’ 226 LBS (SENIOR)
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Cam Jones||6011/226||9 1/2||31 1/4||75 7/8|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
– Fearless hitter with Big Hits
– Great Motor, always plays to the whistle
– Has a nose for the ball, good play recognition
– Finds his way through traffic
– Quick change of direction
– Great Blitzes
– Good athleticism with sideline-to-sideline speed
– Has the potential for man coverage
– Clean wrap-up tackler, not many missed tackles
– Great leadership mentality
– Very experienced with 5 years under his belt
– Undersized with light frame
– Overpursues which creates cutback lanes
– Unproven in coverage
– Hand techniques are still raw, struggles to get off blocks
– Lacks physicality in hand fights
– Not asked to do much else than blitzing
– Bites on Play Action
– Only 5 games in 2022 due to foot injury
– Limitations as pass rusher, Edge is not his position
– 3-Star Recruit out of Cordova, TN
– Birthday 10/21/1999 – 23 years old
– Major in Liberal Studies
– “King of the Grill” – Famous for his BBQ Skills at Indiana
– 100-plus hours of community service
– Played LB and WR in High School
– Received Scholarship for his Football Leadership
– IU Defensive Newcomer of the Year 2018
– IU Defensive Player of the Week vs Connecticut 2019
– All-Big Ten Honorable Mention 2020, 2022
– Awarded for Dedication to IU Football 2021
– Three-year starter (24 starts)
– Three-year captain
– Missed second half of 2022 due to a foot injury
– Senior Bowl Game Standout
– Career Stats: 204 Tackles (126 Solo), 13.5 TFL, 7 Sacks, 2 INT, 1 TD, 9 PD, 3 FF, 2 FR
Cam Jones is at his best when he is playing with the ball in front of him in blitz packages and against the run. He has the ability to navigate through traffic with his athleticism and gets away from any blocker with his speed.
Unfortunately, with his light frame, he doesn’t know how to shed blocks. When he is engaged, he will stay there and won’t offer any release moves. Jones needs open space to make plays, but will explode through the hole and often stop running backs right in their tracks.
Jones is the type of modern linebacker that comes with great athleticism and is playing fast wherever he is lining up in the box. He always plays with a high motor trying to make plays.
What stands out the most is his fearless drive for big hits that are usually clean and textbook-hitting. He only missed 7% of his tackles, which is among the best at linebacker.
By wrapping his arms around his opponent, Jones doesn’t let go. When he reaches out, he will knock somebody down.
With five years of experience, he recognizes the play well and finds a way to the ball. The game already slowed down for him as he patiently goes through his reads. Play Action is where he plays too aggressively and often bites on the fake. Jones also has the tendency to overrun the play, opening cutback lanes for running backs.
Coverage is where he lacks experience. He wasn’t asked much to cover, even though he sits quite comfortable in zone coverage, reading the quarterback’s eyes. In man coverage, he was usually asked to cover running backs. He did quite well by reading the pocket and occasionally finding the ball.
His skills in covering downfield against tight ends or even wide receivers are still debatable, as he didn’t show it too often. It will be up to the coaches to see if his athleticism and change-of-direction ability will offer man-to-man qualities. Jones showed a glimpse of those in his freshman season with this pick against the Spartans.
Even though he is one of the more experienced prospects, as he played most of the games in his five years at Indiana, Jones can still learn a lot on the next level about the linebacker position. The Hoosiers only used him as a blitzing Run Defender, in which he would just be a gadget player in the NFL. If his frame and skills translate into more coverage snaps, Jones could become one of the better off-ball linebackers in this year’s class.
As long as he lacks physicality, he is also depending on the scheme to make plays, he definitely should work on his block-shedding technique to play in the box. With his sideline-to-sideline speed and fearless hit power, Jones will be a prime candidate to make plays on special teams. He knows how to be a leader, as a three-year captain, and offers a hard-working mentality.
Projection: Early Day 3
Draft Depot Grade: 7.2 – Rotational Player (4th Round)
Games Watched: at Penn State 2021, vs Cincinnati 2021, vs Illinois 2022, at Cincinnati 2022, Senior Bowl