In the NFL, Linebackers are rapidly becoming among the better all-around athletes on rosters. Your off-ball linebacker can no longer just be a downhill thumper who stuffs the run. With the proliferation of pass-catching tight ends, running backs involved in the passing game, etc., linebackers must have the skills to be stout enough to take on double teams and cover down the field.
Indiana’s Cam Jones is hoping to hear his name called during the 2023 NFL Draft but could just as likely end up a priority free agent. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about Jones in his scouting report.
Cam Jones NFL Draft Profile
- Position: LB
- School: Indiana
- Year: Senior
Jones showed immediate versatility as a football player in high school. He played linebacker and wide receiver for head coach John Cooley at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School, where he was a two-time all-state, three-time all-region, and two-time team MVP. In 2017, Jones was named a team captain and became a four-year starter.
Jones led the team in tackles, sacks, tackles for loss, receptions, rushing yardage, all-purpose yardage, and touchdowns as a junior and senior. He started his high school career with a bang as well, as he topped the team in interceptions as a freshman and sophomore.
Adding to Jones’ versatility, he was also a four-time Special Teams Player of the Year. Over his final two high school seasons, he made 160 tackles, 60 tackles for loss, 34 sacks, five INTs, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries, He did this all while adding 3,678 all-purpose yards (1,534 receiving, 1,049 rushing, 496 punt return, 436 kick return, 163 interception) and 32 TDs (15 receiving, 12 rushing, four punt return, one interception).
As a freshman at IU, Jones played in 11 games at “husky,” which is their strongside linebacker position, and shared the team lead with two forced fumbles and totaled 20 tackles, one fumble recovery, one interception, one pass breakup, and one quarterback hurry. The effort earned him IU’s Defensive Newcomer of the Year award.
In his sophomore year, Jones moved to a new position in the linebacking corps, “stinger” — their weakside linebacker position — and played in all 12 games. He posted 35 tackles, two sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, a 44-yard pick-six, one forced fumble, two pass breakups, and two quarterback hurries.
His junior year saw him take a step forward in team leadership, as Jones was named team captain for the first time. That year, he collected 35 tackles, three sacks, four quarterback hurries, and three pass breakups. He led the team in quarterback hits while starting seven games and appearing in all eight at the “stinger” position. The effort earned him an honorable mention for All-Big 10 by the coaches and media.
As a senior in 2021, Jones added even more production while maintaining a leadership role. He totaled 64 tackles (43 solo), one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and two pass breakups. That was good enough to finish third on the team in stops and tied for second in solo tackles. He started and played in 11 games at “Stinger.” He again was a team captain, and he received Indiana’s prestigious Howard Brown “Dedication to IU Football” Award.
Jones’ final season at with the Hoosiers was unfortunately cut short due to injury, forcing him to miss the final seven games. He was off to an incredibly fast start, though, racking up 54 tackles in five games. That was the most to start a season in that span at IU since at least 2005. 2022 was his third consecutive season as a team captain and his second consecutive season as an honorable mention All-Big 10 recipient by coaches and the media.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Cam Jones
Strengths: Athletic one-gap defender with a well-rounded game. Patient, instinctive, and quickly locates the ball handlers. Tough, smart, and immediately reads and anticipates the action.
Aggressive, sells out upfield to make plays on the blitz or against the run. Fires to the ball handler and wraps up tackling. Smooth flipping his hips on pass drops, gets depth, and has a closing burst to the play.
Weaknesses: Undersized and is easily blocked from the action. Struggled with injuries as a senior and played just five games.
Overall: Jones is a solid run-and-chase LB who is best in pursuit. He offers possibilities on the inside of a 3-4 and also possesses enough coverage skills to be a weakside linebacker in a traditional alignment. More than anything else, Jones will have to establish himself on special teams in order to make an NFL roster.
Cam Jones Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’1 1/4″
- Weight: 226 pounds
- Arm: 31 1/4″
- Hand: 9 1/2″
- Bench Press: 17 reps
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.69
Cam Jones Current Draft Projection
According to Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Jones received a priority free agent grade. Now, this does not necessarily mean he will not be drafted. He is Pauline’s 22nd-ranked outside linebacker. For context, Jones is not an edge-playing outside linebacker. He is an off-ball outside linebacker, playing primarily on the weak side. He is Pauline’s 226th-ranked player overall.
Jones’ Relative Athletic Score of 5.51 is considered “good.” He scored average in just about every metric. His size was considered “poor” but was brought down by his weight (227 pounds). As a weakside player, I would not be overly concerned with that, but teams will likely want to see him add 5-10 pounds.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
The top-end speed was interesting for Jones. His 40-yard dash time of 4.69 was OK. However, his 10-yard and 20-yard splits were elite. As an off-ball linebacker, charged with playing mostly in a 20-yard window, those are encouraging numbers that show an ability to close a tight gap in a hurry.
Additionally, an area where Jones can contribute right away is special teams. He was an ace in high school and has the speed and size to play on coverage units. That is an easy way for a late-round draft pick to stick around for a while.
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