The Eagles added Bryan Braman in free agency, but their work at linebacker is probably not over. The team could be in the market for an upgrade to Trent Cole at pass rusher and potentially a successor for DeMeco Ryans at inside linebacker. Adding a versatile weapon that could compete to be both would certainly be ideal and FSU's Christian Jones could be just that for the Eagles.
A five-star recruit with family history at FSU, Jones was an easy recruit for the Seminoles. He picked FSU over the likes of Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame and LSU in 2010. Jones was backup linebacker and special teams player for the Seminoles as a true freshman. He had 18 tackles (three for loss) and three sacks in 2010. Jones started at SAM linebacker as a sophomore and had 56 tackles (six for loss), three sacks and two forced fumbles in 13 games.
A 14-game starter at weakside in 2012, Jones led FSU in tackles with 95 stops. Jones was used everywhere on defense as a senior. He had 32 tackles (eight for loss), two sacks and an interceptions last season as FSU won the BCS National Championship and the Seminoles had the top-ranked scoring defense (12.1 ppg). He was named to the All-ACC Second Team for his performance.
Weight: 240 lbs
Arm Length: 33 1/2"
Hands: 9 5/8"
40: 4.74 seconds
Vertical: 33.5 inches
Bench: 115.0 inches
Jones has serious length and has terrific versatility as he can play defensive end and outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense and inside or outside linebacker in an odd front. Jones is good at getting penetration off of blitzes and is a solid tackler. He has huge arms and is very comfortable in coverage. He gets his arms around offensive players to take them down.
Jones may be able to get penetration and get off blocks, but he lack of instincts as a pass rusher are evident. He has a bit of hesitation in his game and has awkward technique. He is on-and-off with ability to get to the quarterback and his college numbers in that department are extremely unimpressive. He doesn't really have a natural position in the NFL.
While his college numbers leave something to be desired, Jones may be one of the more Chip Kelly-like prospects on defense in this year's draft. Jone is as versatile as they come and could be used as a rotational pass rusher as a rookie, as well as a coverage option to take the place of Cole in certain situations. After a season or two, Jones could move inside to take over for Ryans. Jones is a serious chess piece that Billy Davis could use to his advantage. He will likely be a second round pick, so the Eagles could target him on Day 2. Kelly apparently paid a ton of attention to Jones at the FSU Pro Day.