From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to 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 will be profiling Truman Jones an Edge player from Harvard.
#90 Truman Jones, EDGE, Harvard (SR) — 6026, 251 lbs.
Shrine Bowl/Combine/Pro Day
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Truman Jones||6’2” ¾ /251||10||33 5/8||81 5/8|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Good pad level and leverage
— Hand placement and strength for power rushes
— Speed and acceleration to chase all over the field
— Gets his hands into throwing lanes
— Good ability to set the edge and keep outside arm free
— Solid stack and shed
— From off the ball, gets in the backfield quickly, chases down runners
— Strong tackler using length and physicality
— Some short Zone ability; Smart and athleticism to get better
— Marginal first step vs run and pass
— Rolls out of his stance rather than bursting up field
— Takes a second determining run vs pass
— Pass rush plan limited to mostly power rushes
— Minimal use of chops/swipes to keep hands off him
— Spin move stalls mid-way
— Limited experience in coverage
— 2022 – 40 tackles, 19 solo, 13 TFL, 6 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 1 FF, 1 pass breakup, 3 blocked kicks
— Career – 88 tackles, 38 solo, 28.5 TFL, 14.5 sacks, 4 FF, 1 FR, 3 pass breakups, 4 blocked kicks
— 30 games
— Team Captain
—First Team All-Ivy League, Academic All-Ivy League
— Bushnell Cup winner awarded to the players who display outstanding qualities of leadership, competitive spirit, contribution to the team and accomplishments on the field
— Hula Bowl, Shrine Bowl invitee
— In high school, 3 year starter, 2 year captain on lacrosse team; 3 year starter, 1 year captain for football
For Truman Jones the transfer portal was his first choice but then he decided to turn pro. Most of his time was spent as defensive end in an even front playing in a three or four point stance. In his senior season he was asked to play more off the ball as an outside linebacker in the overhang/apex position.
As a pass rusher, Jones had most of his success as a power rusher. Lining up as the left defensive end, he plays with good leverage and hand placement to get lineman on their heels to drive them into the pocket. Using a straight bull rush or a long arm stab he can get depth and use his length to get his hands into the throwing lane. His dip and rip around the edge shows potential but wasn’t used often. He has good acceleration to chase out of the pocket and run down scramblers.
At Princeton, on the first play of the game Jones (90) at left end will put his right hand in the chest of the right tackle to drive him back to the quarterback and with his left hand disrupts the throw leading to an interception.
This is the dip and rip move. He didn’t use it often but it shows some potential.
At Howard, another example of a power rush, chasing with his athleticism and creating a turnover.
At Yale, a couple more plays. The first getting the strip sack and the second again chasing to the outside.
He has very good athleticism and was used to spy on QB’s as well. While coverage is somewhat a new task for him he showed the speed to run with tight ends and with backs out of the backfield by the end of the season. There is potential for him to handle short Zone drops in the flat area. The mental side is there to know his role. It’s all about improving his execution.
Vs Holy Cross, this is a three consecutive play sequence. Playing on his feet he will beat a pulling blocker to make the tackle, shove aside the tight end to take down the quarterback and then spy the QB using his speed to chase him down.
At Cornell, playing off the ball on the left side and he shows his change of direction, acceleration and speed to chase down the quarterback for the sack.
At Cornell, he is off the ball on the right side in Zone coverage. This is a good rep reacting to the play and forcing the incompletion.
Against the run, he plays stronger than his size. He has very good strength and leverage to set the edge, keeping his outside arm free to make tackles. He has good hand placement and a solid ability to shed blocks and make plays to the either side. His mental processing is solid reading the mesh point and crashing inside when needed. His change of direction is good and accelerates quickly to chase down to the outside. As a tackler, he is very good using his length and physicality to take down runners quickly.
At Cornell, he put on a clinic setting the edge, shedding the blocker and making the tackle.
At Howard, from the outside he shows his quickness to make two tackles in the backfield.
At the snap, he displays adequate quickness rolling out of his stance rather than bursting forward to engage. When rushing the passer, his steps can get short and choppy rather than extending up field and stressing the outside hip of the tackle. He’ll pop up and there is a split second of determining run versus pass before rushing the passer. His pass rush play is very limited. He has tried an outside spin but it has been unsuccessful. When engaging lineman his hand usage is marginal with limited usage of swipes and chops. Coverage is a work in progress for him and will struggle against any cuts made by potential receivers. Man coverage for the most part is not recommended.
A couple plays where he needs work. The first is an outside spin pass rush. His spin to the outside pauses taking away his momentum from getting up field. The second play is a Man coverage play on the tight end where he loses him immediately.
Overall, Jones has very good athleticism, is a strong tackler and is an assignment sound player. Against the pass, he displays good power to push the passer and potential to build his pass rush plan. He gets his hands in throwing lanes and should be able to handle Zone coverage in the short area. Against the run, he uses strength and leverage to set the edge and a solid ability to shed blocks. He uses his length, acceleration and strength to take down ball carriers.
Jones has indicated that his is more comfortable with his hand in the dirt but he has the ability to play on his feet as well. He was used more like an off the ball outside linebacker than a 3-4 outside linebacker that Pittsburgh uses. There is a learning curve here but I believe he has the athleticism, strength and potential to play in an even or odd front. His pass rush however needs a lot of work and patience for him to develop.
Initially he would come in as rotational player; a third or fourth Edge player for a team and play on special teams. He has the athletic ability, strength and smarts to become a starter down the road if he can develop. It’s interesting he was coached by New England in the Shrine Bowl because he seems like a player they would covet and probably a round earlier than other teams would. I think he would be an asset for whomever drafts him and in Pittsburgh we would probably be the #4 outside linebacker in year one and play on specials while improving his pass rush plan.
Finding a player comp was tough for Jones. Anthony Chickillo was a DE to OLB switch and has similar length. His pass rush really never developed but Jones is a better athlete. Shaquil Barrett had some similar issues with his first step and segmented pass rushes but he did have some good pass rush years eventually.
Projection: Mid-Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 6.9 Backup/ Special Teamer (Fifth Round)
Games Watched: 2021 – Vs Princeton; 2022 – Vs Holy Cross, At Cornell, At Howard, Vs Yale