Rookie Brandon Jones is hoping to make an immediate impact in 2020 for the Miami Dolphins.
The Miami Dolphins made Brandon Jones one of their 2020 draft picks and now he is hoping to make an impact at safety in his rookie year.
When you use a third-round selection on a player it usually means that you are hoping they will fight for a starting position. Brandon Jones will have to do just that, as he faces an uphill battle in a crowded backfield.
Let’s be honest with each other.. With the exception of Jerome Baker, can you name the last quality player that the Dolphins drafted in the 3rd round? This spot has usually been a wasted pick on offensive linemen that is surrounded by hype but actually performs like a dud (Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner and even as recent as Michale Deiter) but this year Coach Flores and Chris Grier armed with draft capital like never before, decided to take Brandon Jones, a Safety from Texas.
It made sense. Look, the Dolphins re-signed Eric Rowe and then moved him to strong Safety when Reshad Jones couldn’t seem to get his act together. They made a silly decision to give up on Minkah Fitzpatrick and traded him away, then asked Bobby McCain to move from his suited position of slot corner to Free Safety where he was overmatched and undersized and then signed a bunch of street free agents to start a merry go around the approach of who’s playing in the secondary.
More from Phin Phanatic
- Tua Tagovailoa practicing with teammates is everything a leader does
- 4 offensive tackles Miami Dolphins could draft at 51
- Miami Dolphins don’t need CB help but these 5 could be available at 51
- 4 players that could replace Wilkins if Miami Dolphins don’t re-sign him
- Miami Dolphins have a starting point with Wilkins after Simmons deal
The great thing about Jones is that he has played Safety. He played it rather well in all four seasons at Texas. He loves contact and he won’t shy away from it. His 86 tackles in 2019 were among the best in the safety class, which bodes well for his style of play. He’s at this best when the game is in front of him. From what I have seen on his tape, he makes a great center fielder, which makes him more suited to play Free Safety.
But don’t let this hype fool you, Jones has some flaws in his game, specifically when the ball is in the air. From what I have seen his mirror technique requires work, he’s not smooth on his hips and doesn’t have the recognition or pattern development to keep up with wide receivers. He will have to depend on over the top help.
During training camp, I look for the Dolphins coaches to teach him how to use his hips. He’s got beautiful speed, so you know he can run with the best of them. He has to learn the mirror technique and how to use that in coverage. It might be beneficial to him if Bobby McCain took him under his wing, as he is a former corner.
Jones’s uphill battle is steep. He’s penciled in a 3rd string right now. His passion and desire are what got him drafted, but it’s now on him to prove himself that he can turn that passion into knowledge and become a student of the game. His flashy play bodes well for him in college, but in the NFL, without proper adjustments and training, he will get beat. Jones is one of the most attractive players in this upcoming training camp, as fans want to see if he, like Jerome Baker, can break the 3rd round curse and turn into a franchise corner piece.
Bobby McCain is the Dolphins starter. However, he is in his last year of a rich contract and does have injury concerns. Steve Parker was a street free agent that was signed and played well into the season, but he was cut for a reason. If Jones learns and develops, the Dolphins have provided him an opportunity to take the starter position, but the climb is steep, let’s hope he’s up for the challenge.