Pro Football Focus is extremely high on former Mississippi State defensive tackle Chris Jones. Not only does their latest mock draft have the Houston, Miss. product going in the first round of the draft, but they have him pretty high up the board.
PFF released a mock draft on Tuesday, predicting Jones as high as No. 12 overall to the New Orleans Saints.
Even though the stats didn't end up where Jones would like, that didn't tell the whole story of how disruptive he was in the middle of MSU's line. PFF isn't fooled by the numbers.
"Jones is getting little hype with such a deep crop of interior defensive linemen, but he brings incredible upside after a strong quietly strong 2015 that saw him finish with the fourth-best grade among interior defensive linemen at +54.7 and second as a pass rusher at +35.0," PFF wrote in its mock draft. "Ignore the two sacks, he was a disruptor inside and he'll immediately help one of the worst interior pass rushes in the league."
It was questionable whether or not Jones would come back to Starkville for his senior season or test the NFL waters. If he is in fact taken in the first round, and especially that high, he made the right decision.
Most people saw the stats and wondered why he would leave early to be a third-round pick.
He tallied 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. But we all know stats don't tell the whole story for defensive linemen.
The fact of the matter is we don't know what Jones was told by the NFL and what grade he received during his feedback.
This is the highest he has been rated by any credible mock draft to this point. Could he still drop to the third round like some predict? Yes, but if he produces at the combine and gets noticed among a deep and talented group of tackles, first round isn't out of the question.