2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LB Ernest Jones

Photo: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports


South Carolina linebacker Ernest Jones declared for the 2021 NFL Draft after two seasons as a starter for the Gamecocks’ defense and leading the team in tackles in both 2019 and 2020. He was a team captain and regarded as the vocal leader of the defense. At the next level, Jones projects best as a pursuit-style WILL linebacker in a 4-3 defense where he can take advantage of his ability to take good angles to the football and finish. With that said, he doesn’t have the processing skills or functional strength to be an ideal fit as a MIKE or SAM linebacker. For a defender that is best as a weak-side linebacker, ideally there would be more of an explosive athletic profile and comfort in coverage. Jones has plenty of room to develop and will need to before he can claim a role at the next level. Proving himself on special teams will be critical to buy him time to get stronger and develop as a linebacker. 

Ideal Role: Reserve WILL linebacker, special teams.

Scheme Fit: 4-3.

Written by: Joe Marino 

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Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.

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