Jones earned playing time immediately with the Trojans, seeing time primarily on special teams and as a backup strong-side linebacker in their 4-3 alignment. He suffered a sprained neck in the eighth game of the season (Oregon), however, and missed the rest of the year. Team doctors refused to clear him for participation the following spring and after seeking other opinions, Jones elected to transfer back to Georgia.
He sat out the 2010 campaign per NCAA transfer guidelines before absolutely exploding onto the SEC scene the following season. Primarily asked to rush the passer as an outside linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 alignment, Jones led the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) while posting 70 tackles overall (second on the team by two stops). He earned consensus first-team all-conference honors, quite a few All-American nods and was voted a finalist for the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker.
Having earned First-Team All-SEC honors in each of his two eligible seasons at Georgia, Jones has proven himself to be a playmaker against both the pass and run. The 6-2, 242-pounder led the country in three critical statistics -- sacks (14.5), tackles for loss (24.5) and forced fumbles (seven) despite missing two games (Kentucky, Florida Atlantic) due to injury.
As dynamic as he is, the redshirt junior's medical grade will ultimately determine his draft status. He was diagnosed with a mild case of spinal stenosis in 2009 and some NFL doctors may be unwilling to clear him.
Weaknesses: Size limitations. Possesses an impressive build but a frame that may not have much room for additional mass. Relies an awful lot on speed, showing few complementary pass rush moves. Was diagnosed with a spinal stenosis condition while at USC, a condition which has led some notable NFL players to end their careers rather abruptly, including San Diego Chargers Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill a year ago at just 28 years old.
Compares To: Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos -- Jones isn't quite as explosive off the snap or as reliable an open-field tackler as Miller but he's close. The medical concerns are frightening but make no mistake, Jones is a Pro Bowl talent whose impact in the NFL will be immediate.