Clemson football linebacker Mike Jones Jr. will have a chance to make an impact on the Tiger defense in 2019 after redshirting this past season.
Today, we continue our series analyzing the 2018 Clemson football redshirts.
The redshirt class consisted of two juniors- Cornell Powell and Jamie Skalski- and several true-freshmen. One of those freshmen was Linebacker Mike Jones Jr.
Jones Jr., a 4-star linebacker and product of IMG Academy, redshirted due to the amount of depth and experience the Tigers had at linebacker in 2018.
With guys like Isaiah Simmons, Kendall Joseph, Tre Lamar, the Davis twins and a few others, there wasn’t much reason for the Tigers to burn a year of eligibility on the true-freshman.
Now, Jones will have a chance to make an impact on the Tiger defense in 2019 as those guys have moved on to the next level of football.
Mike Jones Jr. is a very talented linebacker with a ton of skill.
He has the ability to stuff the run and to step back and guard receivers in the passing game. I really like his overall athleticism and physicality.
Jones has a chance over the next couple of years to develop into an early round NFL Draft pick and it will be interesting to see how he has improved with one year under his belt.
Where does he fit?
I think Jones Jr. is a second-string type linebacker that plays a ton of snaps in 2019. The thing about linebackers is that it typically takes them longer to develop than some of the other positions.
Normally, you don’t see a guy really blossom until his third year on campus- sometimes fourth- with a few exceptions.
I do believe that Jones Jr. could be one of those exceptions.
I think he’ll play a ton of meaningful snaps this year and could potentially work himself into a starter role if a guy like Shaq Smith under-performs.