The strength of the 2019 Pitt Panther defense was the depth at defensive end, which was led by junior Patrick Jones.
In his breakout season, Jones registered 42 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, had four forced fumbles, 18 quarterback hurries, recorded 8.5 sacks and was rewarded for his efforts by being named to the All-ACC Second Team.
When you’re a junior and have a season like this, it’s only natural to wonder what NFL teams think of you and where you might go in the draft.
That’s exactly the situation Jones finds himself in as Pittsburgh Sports Now has confirmed that like teammate safety Paris Ford, Jones has submitted paperwork in order to find out his NFL Draft grade. Like with Ford, if Jones is told that he currently has second round talent, he would likely declare for the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.
Jones is the prototype NFL defensive end because of his size (6’5″, 260) and ability to get after the quarterback with his strength and speed. Following the season-ending injury to Rashad Weaver, Jones stepped up in his first year as a starter and was the leader of that defensive end spot.
If Jones decides to return to Pitt, the Panther defensive line will be loaded with the return of talented players such as himself, Weaver, Jaylen Twyman, Deslin Alexandre, John Morgan, Keyshon Camp, Habakkuk Baldonado, Devin Danielson, Tyler Bentley and a handful of freshman that redshirted.
Coming out of Grassfield High School in Chesapeake, Virginia, Jones was only rated as a 2-star recruit so credit to him and the Pitt staff for his development and ascension to a legitimate NFL Draft prospect.