Should Baltimore Ravens draft Indiana LB Cam Jones?
The Baltimore Ravens will always be looking at linebackers in the NFL draft. One name may be Cam Jones from Indiana. Cam Jones is a fifth-year senior entering the NFL draft after being a three-year starter. He was also a captain for the past three seasons.
What does Cam Jones bring to the NFL, and he should he be on the Baltimore Ravens radar?
Baltimore Ravens Cam Jones Draft Profile
Cam Jones has 1,811 snaps at Indiana. He is a three-year starter, but his 2020 season was cut short due to the COVID outbreak, and he recently had foot surgery end his 2022 season. He had a career-high 60 tackles in 2021 but had 54 tackles while playing 320 fewer snaps this season, so he was much more productive.
The foot injury can raise questions, but Jones was healthy and competed during the Senior Bowl. He also performed athletic testing at the NFL combine.
Cam Jones is a bit undersized, but that is the trend in the NFL now. He is not much smaller than Patrick Queen. Still, the rest of his athletic profile was just about average.
Cam Jones strengths and weakness that translate to the NFL
Cam Jones plays with an understanding and enough tenacity to be a solid run-and-chase linebacker. He can get to the sideline and takes smart enough angles to shut things down in the run game. Some of his best traits come when he is in pursuit, and his floor can be established with a profile of a core special teams option.
Still, his understanding of angles, and lack of fear when stepping up against bigger blockers in the box will give a coaching staff the thought that they can get him onto the field on defense.
While his tenacity and attack mode style works in the run game, he replicates in coverage and does not always into fruition. He is more reactive here, and at times can take himself out of his zone by keying in on the ball and not his spot. He plays with intensity against the run, but his arm length is questionable and will get eaten up against NFL blockers more often than in college.
There are real questions about how impactful one of his bigger strengths can translate, and he probably will be asked to put on some weight.
NFL Comparison for Cam Jones
The best NFL comparison for Indiana linebacker Cam Jones would have to be Ernest Jones, from South Carolina. You can see how they compare physically below.
They have very similar sizes, but one big difference is the length that Jones has. Still, it does show that a smaller linebacker can hold things in the box today. Ernest Jones was a third-round pick who wound up starting the past two seasons for the Los Angeles Rams.
That may be a bit optimistic for Cam Jones, but they do play with a similar understanding and see-it, go-get-it mentality in the run game. This is definitely a strong outcome and a realistic look at what you could get from Cam Jones.
Should Baltimore Ravens have interest in Cam Jones
Although players with a similar profile can go in the third round the expectation for Jones is to be a day three player. The Ravens do a great job filling their roster on day three of the NFL draft. They extended Roquan Smith, but they did not make a decision on Patrick Queen.
If they draft Cam Jones, he would sit a season behind Queen, which would help. He can also play on special teams, so he still has a benefit despite being a backup linebacker.
The team could get a look at him and decide based on his rookie season whether to pay Queen, let Jones take a step, or add a different name altogether. At pick 124, or 157, or if the Ravens trade back or around a spot near there, Cam Jones could fit with the Baltimore Ravens.