The New Orleans Saints had one of the most underrated defensive lines in the NFL during the 2018 season. Part of that was due to a disruptive interior presence that took a little focus off their ends, All-Pro Cameron Jordan, rookie 1st round pick Marcus Davenport, and veteran Alex Okafor. The Saints defensive tackles were dominant at times in 2018, led by a Pro Bowl caliber year from 2016's 12th overall pick, Sheldon Rankins. He was joined by fellow '16 draftee David Onyemata, drafted in the 4th round that season, who had his most effective year as a pro. Taylor Stallworth, an undrafted rookie last season, provided excellent run defense and good interior push, while Tyeler Davison continued to give the defense solid snaps and a run stuffing force. Despite stellar play from their tackles during the campaign, their were a number of concerns heading into the offseason. Rankins tore his Achilles during the Saints playoff victory over Philadelphia, and won't be ready until perhaps midseason. Onyemata may face a league suspension after a marijuana arrest this offseason. Stallworth showed good potential, but has not proven that he can be an every down star, while Davison remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent. New Orleans inked former Patriots tackle Malcom Brown, a 1st round draft choice in 2015, and also added Mario Edwards Jr. in a free agent deal. The Saints may also look to a familiar site to add another potential playmaker to the front line, the topic of today's draft profile.
Dre'Mont Jones, DT (Ohio State)
Jones attended St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH, where he showcased his talents on the basketball court, not even taking up football until his junior year. Despite the inexperience, he was still a four star recruit as a senior, when he earned All-Division I recognition. Jones kept his talents in-state, choosing to attend Ohio State University. After redshirting in 2015, he started twelve games in 2016 and was voted to the Big Ten All-Freshman team after gathering in 4.5 tackles for loss and 51 total stops. His statistics dropped a bit during his sophomore year (20 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, and 2 passes broken up), but was still voted third team all-conference by Big Ten coaches. Jones became a defensive terror in 2018, collecting 8.5 sacks, 13 takedowns for loss on 43 total tackles, intercepting one pass (returning it for a touchdown), and scoring another touchdown on one of his 3 fumble recoveries. He was voted 1st team All-Big 10 for his efforts during the campaign.
Jones ranked within the top ten of all interior defensive linemen in numerous categories at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.
40-yd dash = 5.12
Vertical leap = 31.5"
Broad jump = 110"
3-cone drill = 7.71
20-yd. shuttle = 4.53
Nick Fairley (ex-Saints, retired)
Dre'Mont Jones is an extremely athletic defensive tackle with a tremendous upside. Best utilized as a three-technique tackle, Jones bursts through gaps with initial quickness off the snap. He has elite short area fluidity, and slides well down the line of scrimmage in pursuit of the ball. He has a good initial upper body punch, and shows outstanding change of direction while staying light on his feet to keep opposing blockers off balance. Though inexperienced, Jones is rapidly developing his secondary pass rush moves if his initial push is slowed. Once reaching the ball carrier, he wraps and finishes tackles well, rarely letting an offensive player free.
He is a bit top-heavy for his tall frame, and can get stood up at the point of attack. Jones has struggled to maintain a low pad level at times, and must also establish a stronger base to hold up against bigger linemen who can handle his initial quickness. He showed the potential to take over the line of scrimmage while at Ohio State last season though, and his combination of athleticism, potential, and production has likely vaulted him into the 2nd round or even late 1st round consideration. The Buckeyes pipeline has been kind to New Orleans, producing wideouts Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr., along with defensive backs Marshon Lattimore, Eli Apple, and Vonn Bell. Dre'Mont Jones could be an immediate contributor for the Saints young defense, and potentially an every down star.