Chris Jones, defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, had the game of his career in week 2 against the Eagles. Jones was a major key to the Chiefs’ victory. But, how much do fans know about Chris Jones? Until this past week, Jones wasn’t one of the players where everyone knew his name.
High School & College Career
Jones played high school football in his hometown of Houston, Mississippi. He was a multi-sport athlete playing football and basketball. Jones went from being virtually unknown to a star in his senior year. Coming out of high school, he was a five-star recruit and committed to play for Mississippi State University over other powerhouse schools like Alabama, Auburn and Clemson.
In his freshman year at Mississippi State, Jones logged 32 tackles and 3 sacks while going on to be named to the All-SEC Freshman team. He followed that up with being name honorable mention All-SEC in the coaches poll. Jones played three seasons at Mississippi State and had a college career stat line of 102 tackles, 18 for a loss, and 8.5 sacks.
After deciding to enter the NFL Draft, teams saw him as second round pick. Jones was easily a top 10 defensive tackle and top 50 player overall. At 6 feet 6 inches and 310 pounds, he showcased athleticism at the NFL Combine but also fell during his 40-yard dash attempt due to a “wardrobe malfunction.” Jones posted 26 reps on the bench press and 24.5 inch vertical. At the Mississippi State pro day, Jones did some positional drills and upped his vertical jump up to 29.5 inches.
Scouts noticed Jones’ natural power and his ability to create heavy pocket pressure. He has quick feet that could have come from his basketball playing days in high school which also drew scouts attention. Jones also had the ability to use his powerful hands to shed blocks fairly easily. But he also had things he needed to work on if he wanted to compete at the NFL level. Jones needed to work on finishing out each play, perfecting his ball instincts and not running out of gas late into the game.
After sitting through the first round on Thursday night without getting his name called Jones didn’t have to wait long on Friday. With the 37th pick overall, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Jones with their first pick in the draft. In a defense with a fair amount of big name players, Jones would have to make a name for himself.
During his first season with the Kansas City Chiefs he started out as the backup defensive end behind Jaye Howard. Jones made his professional debut in week 1 against the San Diego Chargers. After the Chiefs suffered several injuries he earned himself a starting spot. Jones took the shot, ran with it, and went on to start 11 out of 16 games for the Chiefs in his first season. He recorded 28 combined tackles and 2 sacks during the 2016 season.
Heading into the 2017 season, the Chiefs defensive line looked a bit different, but Jones had done enough to earn himself a starting position. Dontari Poe had left in free agency and Jaye Howard was released. Before training camp started Rick Burkholder announced that Jones would start training camp on the PUP list. Jones had tweaked his knee working out and had arthroscopic surgery to clean it out. He went on to play sparingly in the last two preseason games after coming off the PUP list late in camp.
In week 1 of the season in a match up with the Patriots, Jones played 50 snaps. He didn’t record any tackles against the Patriots but he did provide a pressure against Tom Brady. Jones is still rounding into shape for the season but he is getting the rust off.
In the wake of the Chiefs 27-20 week 2 win over the Eagles, Jones already has 4 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interception, an impressive stat line just two weeks into the young season. The Chiefs’ defense will be a force to be reckoned with if Jones can continue his superb play.