Buffalo Bills NFL Draft prospects: Pitt's Patrick Jones

Depending on what scouting report you read, Buffalo either has to trade up to get him or can take him in 2nd round with 61st overall pick.
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Nobody can seem to agree on where Pittsburgh defensive end Patrick Jones fits in this year's NFL Draft.

On the one hand, he's a superb talent who produced career highs in tackles (42), tackles for losses (12.5) and sacks (9.0) as a senior in 2020.

On the other, his stock appears to be falling because he didn't impress at the Senior Bowl and most recently tweaked a hamstring while running the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, finishing with an unspectacular time of 4.80 seconds.

He could come off the board anywhere from the middle of the first round to early in the third.

As such, the Bills, who own the 30th and 61st picks, need to know as much about him as possible in an offseason in which improving their pass rush remains a priority.

Although he has played 40 games over four seasons, Jones is far from polished. His game tape shows both the ability to create havoc behind the line of scrimmage and the propensity to be overpowered at the point of attack.

To function properly at the next level, he will need to add to his repertoire of moves, hit the weight room hard and stay religious with a nutrition program designed to add quality pounds.

Jones moves well from sideline to sideline, changes direction with ease and never gives up on plays.

Just because he doesn't have the ideal arm length (32 inches) for an elite edge rusher, it doesn't mean he can't become one. 

Although, Jones has been trying to prove his worth as a 3-4 outside linebacker as well, he projects best at this point as a defensive end in a 4-3, which is what the Bills run and will always welcome more production from that spot -- so long as the player is not a liability against the run.

"I feel like I could do perfectly fine at outside linebacker," Jones countered at his Pro Day. "At the end of the day, I feel like I play football. I could line up anywhere and I'd go to work and play ball. That's what I do. I play football.

" ... I watch a lot of [Pittsburgh Steelers OLB] TJ Watt film. TJ Watt is a great player. I watch his film as much as I can."

Getting injured, however, likely drove his draft stock down.

"I was trying to improve on my 40," he lamented. "I really wanted to show everyone how fast I was and it really hurt me that I couldn't finish it full speed. I really wanted to show everyone my speed and I wanted to show everybody how much I could bend during the position drills.

"... I wanted to show everybody that I could drop into coverage, I could play linebacker. But unfortunately I couldn't do none of that today."

Pro Football Focus noted how Jones won just 11% of his 1-on-1 reps during Senior Bowl practices.

Nevertheless, he is an exciting athlete who despite his flaws was productive at the major college level and in the right system can flourish in the NFL as well.

Another prospect for the Bills to ponder for sure.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.