When attempting to forecast the strength of the 2020 Pitt football team, it would be hard to argue that it’s not the defensive line.
Pat Narduzzi has assembled a starting four that showed last season how formidable they are by being a major reason for the Panthers being 3rd in the country in sacks and 11th in total defense. The starting unit of Jaylen Twyman, Keyshon Camp, Rashad Weaver and Patrick Jones are really talented and it’s possible that all four will hear their name selected during the 2021 NFL Draft.
The one player that improved their draft stock the most in 2019 was Jones, who ranked second on the team in both sacks (8.5) and tackles for losses (11.5). Because of that effort, Jones was named second-team All-ACC and gave some thought to entering the 2020 NFL Draft but in the end, decided to return to Pitt.
Jones (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) is a prototypical NFL pass rusher because of his size and quickness coming off the edge or the speed to chase down an opposing quarterback in the open-field. Along with the ability to pressure the quarterback, Jones also showed the ability last year of being able to hold his own at the line and stop the run.
How is he viewed in the eyes of NFL teams and NFL Mock Draft experts?
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports released his Top 100 Big Board for 2021 prospects had Jones as the No. 33-ranked player, while ranking linemate Jaylen Twyman at No. 12. That would put Jones in line to be drafted somewhere in the second round.
While that’s certainly not an exact science, it does show how well thought of Jones is and should certainly here his name called next April.