This year's Notre Dame draft class is one of the best in recent memory -- so talented that there are three former Irish EDGE rushers going in the 2020 NFL Draft. Today's breakdown will focus on Jamir Jones.
The 6-foot-3, 255 lb defensive end finished his Notre Dame career with 38 total tackles (22 solo), 26 TFL's, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Jones split time with the likes of Julian Okwara, Khalid Kareem, and Daelin Hayes over the last few years at the defensive end position for Notre Dame. Jones stepped up big time in the absence of Julian Okwara down the stretch for the Irish. Jones sets the edge well, he rushes the passer with tenacity, he has a high motor, and he has great speed for an EDGE rusher clocking a 4.7 40-yard dash during his pro day in early April. In addition to being athletic and quick, Jamir is also physical at the point of attack and a hard hitter.
One thing that will help Jones at the next level is his ability to play on special teams. During his freshman year at Notre Dame, he finished with eight tackles on kickoffs alone, which is quite impressive for someone just getting to the college level. Jones also spoke to the importance of playing on special teams on our Irish On Tap podcast. He understood that playing on special teams was his avenue to get more opportunities after arriving at Notre Dame, and for any NFL Rookie, special teams reps will do the same. Jones started on those very special teams units and was able to make plays in the defensive starting lineup when his number was called. Jones also understands what type of role special teams will play for him to make that final NFL roster.
In addition to his ability to play on special teams, he possesses the right frame, athleticism, and ability to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme despite playing in a 4-3 system at Notre Dame. In my opinion, Jones is similar to a Swiss army knife -- he works in a 4-3 front, a 3-4 front, and he can and will help out on special teams. Jones is a player that "gets it" -- he is selfless and will do anything to help the team win. If that includes running down on kickoff, Jones is your guy.
A high motor and skillful athleticism are only two parts of the puzzle when it comes to Jamir Jones. His ability to see the big picture and his willingness to do the little things to make not only himself but the team better are additional traits that will make him an excellent value selection on day three of the NFL Draft.
Jones played in 37 games during his time at Notre Dame and saw a bulk of his production in the last two seasons. He finished both the 2018 and 2019 seasons with 23 solo tackles and at least ten TFL's. Jones also saw an improvement in tackles, TFL's and sacks in each of the three seasons he played at Notre Dame. I vocalized this point during the Irish On Tap interview with Jamir Jones, and I will reiterate it again: the NFL Draft is a "what have you done for me lately" or "who is the hot hand" type of draft. Jones had a phenomenal senior season, he fits the frame, he possesses the speed and athleticism to play at the next level, and he notably had ZERO injuries during his time at Notre Dame. Most importantly, Jones hones the competitive mindset to come in and take his spot on that final NFL roster, wherever it may be. Look for Jamir Jones to hear his name called on day three of the 2020 NFL Draft, beginning the next chapter in his football career.
Check out the Irish On Tap crew's full interview with Jamir Jones in the embedded player below.