Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile of running back Ronald Jones out of the University of Southern California breaking down his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights, and a draft day prediction.
Spending three years at USC, running back Ronald Jones has consistently improved throughout his collegiate career. Standing 6-0 and weighing in at 200 lbs., the 20-year-old was named a third-team AP All-American in 2017 in addition to being a first-team All-Pac-12 selection.
A dynamic and explosive runner, Jones has proven to be a talented playmaker, but like any player, there are indeed some concerns surrounding him, which could affect his overall draft stock.
Let’s take a look at his strengths, weaknesses, video highlights and where he’ll end up being selected.
Perhaps what sticks out most about Jones is his explosiveness, acceleration, and cutting ability. When handed the football, Jones uses his blockers well before exploding and accelerating. Once he hits open space, Jones has the ability to put together various moves to evade defenders. He’s excellent when it comes to starting and stopping and changing speeds as well.
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Throughout the 2017 season, Jones totaled 1,550 rushing yards and 19 rushing yards on 261 carries, which both ranked in the nation’s top 10. He also caught 14 passes for a total of 187 yards and one touchdown.
Aside from his speed and elusiveness, Jones can also be a physical runner. Jones has proven that he’s willing to fight for extra yardage and protects the ball very well, as he fumbled the ball just twice on 591 carries during his time at USC.
In terms of blocking, Jones isn’t known primarily for his abilities in this department, but, at times, he did show the capability to pick up blitzes.
What seems to be the most concerning thing regarding Jones is whether or not he’ll be able to hold up over the duration of an NFL season, and if he can, just how many touches will he able to handle?
Jones isn’t the biggest running back and when you mix that with his willingness to fight for extra yardage, he can, at times, be vulnerable to big hits and taking damage. His vision and patience can also be improved upon at the next level.
In terms of his pass catching abilities, Jones proved to be capable of being an option for his quarterback, but he should also look to improve upon this area in order to become a high-level dual-threat back in the NFL.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
Throughout his time at UFC, Jones consistently improved, which is a positive sign heading into this year’s draft. Jones will easily have a bright future in the NFL as he has the necessary skills to provide any team with a valuable asset at the running back position. I could certainly see him being a late first-round pick, but the concerns regarding his ability to handle a large number of carries could see him being taken early in the second round.