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2015 NFL DRAFT

UFC superstar brother prepping Chandler Jones for NFL battle

By Derek Harper | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Offensive tackles who know Chandler Jones' background will have little interest in engaging in hand-to-hand combat.

The defensive end from Syracuse does mixed martial arts training with his brother, who happens to be UFC superstar Jon "Bones" Jones.

"Some flying knees, punching, elbowing, throwing everything I can," Chandler Jones told The Journal Sentinel about workouts with Jon.

And if he wants to learn how to put those skills to good use on the field, he can turn to another brother, Art, who is a defensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.

That football pedigree is certainly playing in Chandler Jones' favor as he attempts to work his way into the first round of this year's draft.

"The way I was taught to play football, I was told there was a target I had to hit every snap," Jones told the paper. "Looking at the target out of snap, my hands were a lot more fast. I was on that target before I could even think about being that fast. My hands got lightning fast and I'm excited to see them get even better."

Jones was a highly-touted recruit, and was a third-team All-Big East selection as a redshirt sophomore. He built on that with second team honors in 2010 and first team last season, despite missing five games with a knee injury. Having watched Art's draft stock plummet due to a knee injury before the 2010 draft, Chandler Jones opted to leave Syracuse with a year of eligibility remaining.

He has just 10 sacks in 33 career games, but he is considered a good run defender, has good initial quickness and does a nice job of anticipating the snap count.

As you'd expect from someone with martial arts training, Jones is a physical defender who competes through the whistle on every snap. He projects best as a left defensive end in the 4-3 alignment. With added size and strength he could also become a very solid defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. His size, strength and scheme versatility should result in a top 75 selection but his lack of elite pass rush traits limit how high he'll go.

Despite lacking elite pass rushing skills, Jones' stock has been steadily rising during the pre-draft process.

 
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