DB Brandon Jones, Texas

6’0” – 205 lbs.

Started one of twelve games played as a freshman, blocking two punts. Has been starting at strong safety ever since, finishing with 61-4.0-0.0 and two breakups as a sophomore, 70-5.5-0.0, one breakup, and one interception as a junior, and 86-4.5-1.0, four breakups, and two interceptions as a senior. Looks a little bit smaller than his listed size but is a relatively well-built safety who tends to play close to the line of scrimmage as more of a box safety, but who will also shade over opposing receivers in the slot. Plays a pretty physical, downhill brand of football, showing a willingness to come and mix things up in the run game; temperament should endear him to pro defensive back coaches. Looks light on his feet, with pretty good short-area quickness to navigate through traffic; quick to plant and drive on a spot, with some explosiveness to his movements. Also holds up well against blocking and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty; gets extension and is active to shed. Adds a lot to his team’s run fits. Positions himself well and discards blockers in space when defending against tosses and screens, although he looks more comfortable attacking than anchoring. Pretty explosive into contact, helping to set the tone defensively with some physical play; is also a pretty reliable open-field tackler, although he can occasionally miss attempts by coming in too hot. May not have the best length (Combine measurements will be interesting), but does a good job of placing his hands on opposing receivers and carrying them downfield in coverage. Able to get his head around and locate the ball when targeted. As a strong safety, wasn’t asked to play in many deep zones and it’s unclear whether or not he’ll have the type of speed and range to handle those responsibilities. Does play a little bit of off-coverage and uses a pretty conservative approach with what look good pattern-recognition skills to limit big plays by making quick tackles; actual on-ball production was somewhat limited. Demonstrates quick feet when backpedaling from off-man looks, although he could stand to clean up his technique. A very energetic, physical defender with three years of starting experience, he plays with the type of temperament teams look for in a downhill box safety and who looks pretty comfortable lining up in man coverage against slot receivers, although his lack of experience in high coverage could potentially relegate him to more of a sub-package/nickel defender role.

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