April 14, 2024

One of the deepest positions in the draft this year is running back. Ronald Jones II of USC is one of the many talented players at that position. Jones is 6’0” tall and weighs 200 lbs. In his college career, he ran the ball 591 times for 3,619 yards and 39 touchdowns. In the 2017 season, he started in all 13 games he played and rushed for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns. Jones was awarded the Doak Walker Award for the excellence he showed in 2017.

When coming off the line, he shows a great burst of speed. When he gets to a hole in the defense, he has excellent acceleration and vision. His good vision has helped him find a lane in which he can cutback. He has done a good job at keeping the ball secure. On inside runs, he is aggressive and fights for every yard. On outside runs, he uses his speed to get to the perimeter and that is when he uses his acceleration for the “home run” run. He improved in 2017 as a receiver, but still has a ways to go. Jones has the ability to score every time he touches the ball.

There are some aspects of Jones’ game that needs to improve at the next level. As mentioned above, his abilities as a receiver needs improvement. Also, his blocking is not what you would want at the pro level. In the Cotton Bowl against Ohio State, he did a very poor job blocking against a defensive line that has pro-level and pro-ready players. He often had his head down and took bad angles when trying to block. That definitely needs to improve.

The Browns will have multiple options at the top of the second round. I think Jones would be a great fit for the Browns. Last year’s starting running back, Isaiah Crowell, is a free agent and it seems like he will not be returning, so the Browns need a new running back to team up with Duke Johnson. Jones’ ability to keep the ball secure is a big plus when looking for a rookie running back to step in quickly. Due to his big-play ability, I would enjoy seeing Ronald Jones and Duke Johnson on the field at the same time.

While I do not put much stock in this, if the Browns draft Sam Darnold at the top of the draft, it would be interesting to draft Jones, as they were college teammates. There is no doubt that there would be a level of comfort for both Darnold and Jones if they were to be teamed up again, however, that should not be the deciding factor on whether to go after Jones or not.

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