The buzz around second-year defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones is starting to reach a fever pitch.
Jurrell Casey said Jones reminded him of a younger version of himself recently and Vic Fangio’s praise has been glowing as well. Now, the analysts at Pro Football Focus have joined the herd with their article detailing who each team’s breakout player will be for 2020.
“We pegged Jones as more of a second-round talent than a third-round one, largely because of his down-for-down dominance in the Ohio State pass-rush,” PFF analyst Anthony Treash wrote. “And he looked like he proved us right last year.”
Among defensive lineman with fewer than 250 pass-rushing opportunities, Jones finished the season with the second-most sacks and 10th-most pressures. If you exclude veterans, from those rankings he ranks first in sacks and fifth in pressures regardless of snap count.
“Jones finished his rookie campaign with a 70.3 pass-rush grade on 219 pass-rush reps, tying for the 19th-best at the position in the NFL,” Treash added. “He also cracked the top-15 at the position in both pass-rush win rate and pressure rate generated.”
What’s most impressive is that he was incredibly productive against high-level competition.
“He had some impressive reps against top-tier offensive linemen last year, from his new teammate Graham Glasgow to Indy’s Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly,” Treash wrote. “Denver’s defensive front is already loaded with talent with edge duo Von Miller and Bradley Chubb as well as interior defensive linemen Shelby Harris and Jurrell Casey. If Jones is able to take his play to near-top-10 status in Year 2, Denver might join the conversation for having the best pass rush in the league.”
With high-level talent at almost every position group, the Broncos defense has a good chance of being the best in the league.