Ja’Von Rolland-Jones (DE/OLB) – NFL Draft Player Profile

Ja'Von Rolland Jones - NFL Draft

2-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Ja’Von Rolland-Jones is one of the best Group of 5 players in the nation. (Photo: Mark Taylor)

 

Today will be the first of many write-ups on potential 2018 NFL Draft prospects that I am intrigued with over the course of the next five months. As FakePigskin’s IDP analyst, I will be diving in depth to watch film on not just the top defensive prospects in the draft, but also players projected to be taken in the latter end of the draft. If there are any specific prospects that you would like me to share my opinion on, contact me with a comment on this site or on my Twitter, @Dr_Brumley.


 

Ja'Von Rolland-Jones - NFL Draft

Rolland-Jones is only one sack away from breaking Terrell Suggs NCAA career sack record.

Prospect: Ja’Von Rolland-Jones

School: Arkansas State

Position: DE/OLB

Year: Redshirt Senior

Date of Birth (Age): Nov. 13, 1994 (23)

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 244lb

College Statistics: 47 Games, 174 Total Tackles (62.5 TFL), 43.5 Sacks, 10 FF, 1 INT

Accolades: 2-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, 4-time Sun Belt All-Conference team (3-time First Team, 1-time Second Team)


OVERVIEW

Ja’Von Rolland-Jones redshirted his entire freshman season with an undisclosed injury which occurred before the season started. As a RS-Freshman in 2014, Rolland-Jones played in ten games, starting seven, before another injury forced him to miss the final three games of the season. His production was enough to earn Second-Team All-Sun Belt honors. As a RS-Sophomore, started seven of thirteen games, recording nine sacks and four forced fumbles for the Red Wolves. Finished the season on the All-Sun Belt First-Team. Rolland-Jones garnered national attention over his junior and senior seasons, accumulating 26.5 sacks, 40 TFL, and four forced fumbles in 24 games. Rolland-Jones has been selected as Sun Belt Player of the Year each of the last two years, becoming just the third player in conference history to be awarded Player of the Year twice.

ANALYSIS

Strengths: Physically gifted pass rusher who projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Uses his long arms to his advantage in both pass rush and run defense. Shows good discipline while setting the edge on his side of the field. Can play on both sides of the line and doesn’t seem to favor one over the other. Performs best out of a two-point stance when rushing the passer. His production shows on the stat sheet every game even though opposing coaches are game planning to make him a non-factor. Strong bull rush is his go-to move against smaller offensive linemen.

Weaknesses: Limited tackle range. Needs to develop a secondary pass rushing move to be less predictable and succeed at the NFL level. Mediocre burst off the line of scrimmage. Struggles to disengage against strong run blocking tackles. Has been reliant upon his physical tools to bully weaker competition. Would need to add weight in order to fit into a 4-3 system.

SUMMARY

Draft Projection: Mid-3rd to 5th-Round

NFL Comparison: Pernell McPhee

Best-Case NFL Comparison: Markus Golden

Rolland-Jones is one of the most intriguing Group of 5 defensive prospects in this draft. His record-setting production at Arkansas St. will draw attention from teams which will force them to dive deeper into his game film. He has the chance to break Terrell Suggs NCAA career sack record (44) and shine in the national spotlight tomorrow night in the Camellia Bowl vs. Middle Tennessee State. Would love to see some big-time explosiveness in what will be the biggest game of his career. Rolland-Jones best fit in the NFL will be in a 3-4 base defense where he is not expected to be the starter his rookie year but can be groomed and improve his skillset while being used as a situational pass-rusher. Teams that I think will be most interested in Rolland-Jones given their current rosters and needs are Chicago, Indianapolis, New York Jets, Tennessee, and Washington.

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