Indiana linebacker Cam Jones recorded 208 total tackles and averaged more than 10 takedowns per game in 2022. Jones projects as a physical linebacker with an NFL build, plus length, and explosive hitting power. Jones was a three-time captain at Indiana and has received rave reviews for his leadership and character.
Jones recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his illustrious career as a Hoosier, playing man and zone coverage, defending the run, which teams have shown interest in his services, and more.
JM: You depart Indiana as a three-year captain (2020-22). Have teams discussed your character and leadership throughout this process?
Cam Jones: It’s definitely something that’s come up. It was an honor and a privilege to represent Indiana football with such high character. I was blessed to play for a head coach like Tom Allen. He’s a leader himself. He showed me the ropes. He challenged me every year at Indiana to become a better leader. I really appreciate him for that.
I’ve been telling myself that the mind is powerful throughout this entire pre-draft process. I have a powerful mindset. Once you figure that part out, anything is possible. I try to stay positive, keep my head up and keep working.
JM: You have terrific character. When I turn the tape on, I see a physical linebacker with explosive hitting power. How did you develop that approach?
Cam Jones: Coming out of high school, I primarily played wide receiver and quarterback. I was on the offensive side of the ball. Coach Allen told me that he had a plan and all I had to do was trust him. He told me that he saw me playing on the defensive side of the ball.
Ever since I made the switch, I hate the offensive side of the ball (laughs). I hate the offense now. When I first started playing at Indiana, I played the nickel position during my first season. I played safety during my second season. I didn’t make the change to linebacker until my third season.
I’ve learned how to play every single position on the defense basically. Those experiences really helped me develop as a linebacker. I’m a much smarter and faster player now. I pick up on how opposing offenses are trying to attack us. That football I.Q. allowed me to make big-time plays.
JM: It shows on tape. You totaled more than 200 tackles at Indiana. You were averaging more than 10 tackles per game in 2022 before a foot injury cut your season a little short. You’re a reliable, relentless tackler. What do you love about tackling?
Cam Jones: I just love stopping the offense and forcing punts. I don’t want to give them anything. I want to suffocate the offense. I always tell my teammates, let’s put our foot on their necks and never let up. That’s the motto. That’s what I tell the guys. That’s my approach to every single play. It’s a dominant mindset. I always give it 110%.
JM: I enjoyed watching you play zone coverage. You consistently reach your landmarks and impact throwing lanes. Your background on offense shows up. Talk to me about playing zone coverage.
Cam Jones: In order to be an effective linebacker in the league, you have to be consistent versus the run first and foremost. You also have to be consistent against the passing game as well.
The goal is to stop those explosive offenses. I’m able to read the offense and reach those landmarks. I understand which areas those receivers are trying to target. I try to put myself in those windows. I’m consistently working on getting better in that area. It can get better. I want to be able to get into those coverage landmarks as quickly as I can.
JM: Have you completed any Top 30 visits, private workouts, or Zoom meetings?
Cam Jones: I’ve had some amazing discussions with the Bengals, Rams, Saints, Chargers, Chiefs, Broncos, and so on. The list goes on. I’ve been speaking with teams like three times a week. I’m just thankful to the teams that are reaching out to me and considering me. We’ve had some amazing conversations while talking about football.
JM: There’s a lot of interest in you and it’s easy to see why. We’ve appreciated your time today. What kind of impact is Cam Jones going to make at the next level?
Cam Jones: You’re going to get a guy that’s accountable. I’m a leader first and foremost. I always give 110% every single day. I challenge myself and I love challenging the teammates around me.
I’m not the type of guy that needs a pat on the back. If you’re not criticizing me and challenging me to get better, we shouldn’t even be talking. That’s the type of guy that I am. I’m very proud of the relationships I built with my teammates.
I just can’t wait to compete at the next level with like-minded guys that want to work and get better.
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