Cleveland Browns Draft Profile: USC running back Ronald Jones II
By Randy Gurzi
The Cleveland Browns like Duke Johnson and just paid Carlos Hyde in free agency. Could they still look to add someone like Ronald Jones II in the 2018 NFL Draft?
As it stands now, the Cleveland Browns are completely fine at running back. Duke Johnson has proven to be an efficient weapon receiving the ball out of the backfield and they just gave Carlos Hyde the type of money that indicates he’ll be their starter.
This doesn’t stop them from drafting a running back however, as you can never have too many good players. With several picks in the first couple of rounds in the 2018 NFL Draft they could look at a high profile player like USC’s Ronald Jones II.
The question then becomes if he would be a good investment and what type of player would he be?
Jones came out of the gates as a strong player for the Trojans, recording 987 yards rushing as a freshman. By his junior season he was ripping of 1,550 yards and had 19 touchdowns. What made him so good was how decisive he is as a runner. Jones wastes no motion after getting the ball and quickly hits the hole.
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While his vision was up and down at times, he often could get in a groove where he saw the field extremely well. The best example of Jones trusting his eyes and being decisive was when he ran all over the UCLA Trojans in 2017.
In this game Jones shows off his ability to make the first guy miss and picks up chunks of yardage when he hits the hole hard. He finished with 122 yards and two touchdowns. He also proved he can run between the tackles, which goes against some of the opinions that he’s an outside scat back.
Arguably the best thing about Jones is his ball control. He was a bell cow for USC, but rarely ever fumbled the ball.
Jones didn’t show a lot of holes in his game, but the biggest happens to be his size. He weighed in at exactly 200-pounds at the Combine which could give some teams pause. One game where his size may have hurt him was against Notre Dame, where the stout defensive line had their way with Jones.
Jones was a bit of a letdown at the Combine. He competed in just a couple drills, and was pretty rough in the 40-yard dash with just a 4.65. He also didn’t provide a lot as a receiver for the Trojans, which could be a product of their system rather than a knock on his skill set.
Jones is a borderline first-round talent, but because of his position, he could be available through the middle of the second round. Should the Browns pull the trigger on him, they would find themselves with one of the deepest backfields in the NFL.
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For him, landing in Cleveland would also be great. His size and the amount of carries while in Los Angeles€” could make it hard for him to be a feature back despite having the talent. With the Browns, he could get the ball less often, which could prolong his career.