When Jones was drafted in the second round in the 2018 draft, there were high hopes for the University Of Southern California product. Those hopes turned to disappointment in his rookie season. Rushing the ball only 23 times for 44 yards, Jones was basically invisible.
In 2019, Jones came in with added muscle (15 pounds) and confidence in his abilities. It showed right away in camp and pre-season going into his second season. In numerous games in 2019 we saw flashes of his great speed, elusiveness, and hard running for a back his size.
Being a smaller guy, surprisingly he rarely went down from the first hit. It was obvious to see he played larger than his 5’11” 210 pound frame would suggest. Watching him closely all season, I was immensely impressed with what I saw. I saw something special in the kid. He has enormous upside, and I’ll stand by that assertion. Health, and his ability to start games, the absence of those two things is all that stand in his way.
Let me back up a sentence. There is one other obstacle he must overcome. His coaches offensive philosophy or more simply, Keyshawn Johnson said it best: “Just give him the damn ball.
I saw a player that can take it to the house from anywhere on the field, rushing or receiving. An electric, dynamic player that as he settles into the NFL will get better each year. The biggest factor in his development will be his workload.
In my opinion, he wasn’t given enough touches in Arians/Leftwitch’s offensive game plan. Add to that how many times Jameis was throwing for his life overcoming his turnover problem. That isn’t conducive to much of a running game.
A back like Jones needs to be fed the ball all game long. He is the kind of back that gets stronger with every carry. Most don’t see what I see in Jones. Without a doubt he has the X-factor.