Many Expected Him to Go Earlier
After strong showings at both the Senior Bowl and Combine, Jones was expected to be a second-round pick, if not late first round. At 6-foot-4, 325 pounds, he ran a 4.92 40-yard dash at the Combine and got the best of most offensive linemen during Senior Bowl workouts, including his matchup against Patriots first-round pick Cole Strange.
During his career at Connecticut, Jones was strong against the run despite often being double-teamed. He had 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss last season. He also had 8.5 sacks during his career, showing his potential to be an inside pass rusher.
Even though Jones could have gone much earlier, he wasn't bothered by the wait once he got his destination.
"I really wasn't even worried about that," Jones said. "I was just happy that I got picked up by the right team, the right fit."
Jones Was Originally Recruited to Play Guard
Jones was recruited to Connecticut by former Maryland Head Coach Randy Edsall as a guard. However, when a defensive lineman (Folorunso Fatukasi) went to the NFL, Jones was flipped to the defensive side.
"It worked out pretty good for me," Jones said.
Connecticut went 4-32 during Jones' four seasons there, but he earned a reputation for being a player who competed and went hard every snap. He set a strong example for teammates during games and practices, and those traits should serve him well in the NFL.
Jones Lost More Than 20 Pounds After His Freshman Year
Once weighing more than 360 pounds, the 6-foot-3, 333-pound Jones got more serious about nutrition after his freshman year and returned leaner and faster. The result was a quicker, stronger player who became extremely difficult to block unless he was double-teamed.
His performance during Senior Bowl week solidified his place as a lineman who could not be bypassed in this draft.
Jones Sat Out 2020 Due to COVID-19 Concerns
He was one of many players who sat out 2020, but returned strong last season with a career-high 48 tackles. Players like Jones who sat out 2020 but returned in 2021 helped make this draft deep at many positions, including defensive line.
Jones kept himself in shape while sitting out and returned a better player who improved his draft stock.
"I always had this dream as a kid," Jones said. "To have it come true was a big deal to me and my family."
He Addresses Baltimore's Desire to Get Younger on Defensive Line
The Ravens re-signed Calais Campbell, who will turn 36 years old in September, and 32-year-old defensive end Derek Wolfe is coming off hip surgery and missed all of last season. The Ravens have two young defensive linemen in Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington, but Jones gives them another developing defensive lineman who can earn an immediate role in the rotation.
"I feel like the first thing I do is stop the run first, and I have the ability to get to the quarterback," Jones said. "I feel like I'm pretty versatile."