2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Travis Jonesby Michael Schiro March 25, 2022 1 comment
Travis Jones is a big nose tackle out of UConn, who had a productive college career. With multiple years under his belt, he is a proven player that can offer teams a lot. However, it wasn’t always easy for Jones, which is why he won over the locker room and was a vocal leader. Jones got to campus at 360 pounds and 30 percent body fat. He spent his first year working on his body and transforming his game. However, once he got the chance to play, he was a valuable nose tackle for the program. Overall, the New Haven, Connecticut product offers tremendous value on day two for teams looking to shore up their run support.
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Name: Travis Jones
Jersey: No. 57
Position: Defensive Tackle
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 325 lbs
Games Watched: UMass (2021), Purdue (2021), Yale (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Block Shedding (14/15)
Jones’ block shedding comes mostly from playing the run; however, with his excellent strength, he is exceptional at getting off blocks. He is a man that loves to get physical and comes with a vile mentality every snap. With textbook technique and fast feet off the line, Jones can shed his blocks while throwing people out of the way. Furthermore, with a constant fight on every play, Jones is a player that will clear a block and hold a gap.
Strength at the LOS (13/15)
He has immense strength at the line of scrimmage and is an absolute unit to push off his gap. However, Jones needs to keep his pad level down when engaging with blockers, giving him more play strength. At the same time, Jones is a player who prides himself off being a solid player who won’t give up ground. While he has to work on a few mechanics to become a starting nose tackle, he already has a solid foundation. Furthermore, with the potential to become an every-down player, his most important asset is strength.
Pass Rush Ability (12/15)
While at UConn, his role was that of a pocket collapsar, not as a pass rusher. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t become a pass rusher in the NFL. He was coming from a defensive scheme in which he was tasked to play the run and eat up double teams. However, when he did get the chance to rush, he showed that he was more than capable. Although he didn’t get to showcase his rushing ability all the time, he is pretty good at it. Jones is excellent at flashing power through his push in order to move the blockers off balance.
The one thing about Jones that you can’t question is his effort and consistency. He is repeatedly proving that he is going to fight on every play. Jones will fight for every inch of grass he has to get the ball carrier on the ground. At the same time, Jones will have to improve his hands and feet to be more effective in all aspects of his game. Furthermore, he wins with his effort and strength alone a lot of the time, which won’t be enough to find success in the NFL.
Although Jones is a player who won a lot in college, he has to refine his game to find success in the NFL. With Jones not being a very twitchy player paired with varying pad height and hip sink, he needs to tweak these areas. However, he has found success with his push off the line regardless. Jones has a lot of play strength and many gap counters to get to the sport he needs. Furthermore, he will always be a problem to deal with at the line of scrimmage, and his push is a big reason.
Length Usage (7/10)
Jones doesn’t have the best length for a nose tackle. However, he has surprisingly good reflexes and the quickness to survive without them. However, with the lack of ideal length, he will need to become more explosive to compete against centers in the league. At the same time, Jones has a lot of tools that could help keep his length a non-issue. With 34 inch arms, he is slightly in the lower end, but it’s not as much of a problem as some make it out to be.
He had an excellent combine where he showcased his athletic ability. With a sub-five-second 40-yard dash and 20-yard shuffle, he has excellent lateral mobility needed for his position. However, at 13 percent body fat for 325 pounds, he could stand to lower his weight. Although Jones is someone who won’t need to be ultra-athletic, the amount he does have is all he needs to cause for slight concern. However, his ability to be affected inside 20 yards is all he needs to become an effective player.
Football IQ (9/10)
With Jones coming from a scheme in which he had to play multiple gap schemes, he is more than capable of handling NFL defensive schemes. However, he could have a hard time adapting to the workload of playing a three-technique in the league. Considering he mainly played as a zero, one, or two-technique at UConn, seeing how he does at other techniques is the thing people wonder about. Although he had one position to play, he played it perfectly and was a key force on that defensive line.
Overall, Jones is someone who is going to be picked on day two with the hopes of strengthening the team’s run support. With Jones needing to develop a few more techniques to be a star player, he already has an excellent foundation. However, Jones possesses absurd strength and positional experience that teams will value. With the potential for Jones to become a difference-maker for run-support, teams could draft him higher than anticipated. Furthermore, after an impressive combine and career at UConn, he is primed for a bright future in the NFL.
Rookie Projection: Starting Nose Tackle
Third Year Projection: Elite Run Stuffer
Final Grade (83/100): Mid Second Round
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