Ronald Jones | 6’0 | 200 | Estimate 40 time: mid to high 4.3 |
- 2017 Doak Walker Award
- 2017 All-PAC12 First team
- 2017 2nd in Yards from scrimmage, Rush yards, and Rush TDs
- 2016 All-PAC12 Second team
- 2015 All-PAC12 Honorable Mention
Injuries and workload
Missed one game in 2017 with a thigh injury (vs. Cal) and was listed with an ankle injury during the season. Overall, I don’t see health as a concern for Jones especially with him being 20 years old at the time of him showing up to camp this offseason. He ends his time at USC with 623 touches and just under 4k yards. Last season on the ground, he had 50% of the carries, 59% of the rushing yards with a pedestrian 5% of receptions and 4% of receiving yards. He has had a decent amount of work in his time but, it is small cause for concern. Jones should be a picture of health at 24 signing his second deal. Ideal age and injury history for a team looking to draft a franchise RB.
Best: Burst, Athletic Profile, Ball Security
Athletically, Jones has very good top end speed, good accel and balance, and solid COD and agility. He is very reliable on third down and relatively reliable in clutch situations. He gets out of his stance and towards the hole quickly. He is solid at reading trap and power runs in addition to making “home-run” plays. Jones is very good at separating from the hole, good to very good at forcing defenders to change their pursuit angle, good at creating something out of nothing, and solid at getting more than what the line blocks. Jones is good at finishing with speed and balance and solid at finishing with elusiveness usually using a spin, juke or stiff arm in addition to being solid at breaking arm tackles to the upper body. He keeps the ball high and tight, often in the correct hand to keep his body in between the defender and the ball, and usually puts two hands on the ball when in traffic. As a receiver, he is good at turning upfield, solid to good at creating separation using burst to make cuts or pull away from coverage. As a pass protector, he is solid at identifying his assignments and picking up blitzes.
Worst: Receiving, Blocking, Finishing runs
My only knock on Jones’ athleticism is his play strength, there aren’t many parts of his game that display good strength. For that reason, I don’t see him being dependable on the goal line or 3+1 / 4+1 situations. Before the play, he doesn’t seem to scan the field or ID where the hole is. He displays adequate patience, is adequate at finding daylight on sweeps, tosses, and Inside Zones, and poor to adequate at finding daylight on Outside Zone in addition to being adequate at finding cutback lanes on all zone runs. When hitting the hole does not appear aggressive or physical @ POA, to fight for extra yards, to drive feet on anything barring, clutch situations, an average motor, doesn’t embrace contact, and his feet tend to stop in the hole when he sees any defender in front of him. He is adequate at breaking arm tackles to his legs and poor at finishing with strength, falling forward in packs and vs 1 or2 defenders. In the receiving game, he tends to body catch, limiting his radius, has not been used on the outside (in the games I watched), adequate to solid at creating separation physically by boxing out and pushing off, and adequate at creating separation mentally by sitting down in-between zones and setting up cuts. As a pass protector, he doesn’t seem to want to block, puts his head down when blocking, has poor technique, and poor anchor.
Pro Comp. and Projections:
Ceiling: Kenyan Drake
Floor: Wendell Smallwood
Reasoning: A Great athlete that isn’t refined as an RB, likely to start as a special teamer early but, get a small/developing role in the offense by midseason.
Kind of like the Josh Allen of RB’s, Jones is like a player you create on Madden, all speed/physicals and the rest is an afterthought. He will do excellent at the combine and some team will take him before the mid-3rd because of combine, production, and age. He’s likely going start his career as a kick returner and eventually be given a chance on the offense. I believe he will be a subpar starter/rotational piece early but, has high potential to develop into a quality starter down the road.