Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Can Buddha Jones Crack D-Line Rotation?

Already beating the odds by earning a contract as a tryout player at Seahawks rookie minicamp, Buddha Jones hopes to keep surprising in the push for a roster spot.
Troy defensive tackle Buddha Jones attempts to tackle UTSA quarterback Frank Harris.
Troy defensive tackle Buddha Jones attempts to tackle UTSA quarterback Frank Harris. / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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With OTAs now opening across the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks will open training camp at the VMAC in a little over two months, officially ushering in the first season under new coach Mike Macdonald.

In preparation for the new incoming season, we'll be detailing every member of the Seahawks 90-man roster over the next several weeks, diving into scheme fits, exploring best and worst case scenarios, and predicting what to expect from each player entering the 2024 campaign.

After earning a contract out of rookie minicamp, Buddha Jones faces a tall task standing out in a talented, deep defensive line group. Can the undrafted rookie nose tackle continue to surprise and crack the rotation this summer?

Background

Starting his college career at Kent State, Jones played in 12 games as a true freshman for the Golden Flashes, producing 10 combined tackles as a reserve. Due to the COVID pandemic, he only appeared in two games in 2020, recording two tackles before choosing to transfer to Troy, playing closer to his hometown of Tallahassee, Florida. Emerging as a key starter for the Trojans in his final two seasons with the program, he contributed 57 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and three fumble recoveries, including returning one for a touchdown. After going undrafted, he signed with the Seahawks following an impressive audition as a tryout player at the team's rookie minicamp.

Scheme Fit

Listed at 6-1, 307 pounds, Jones carries a thick, compact frame that caters well to handling double teams and spent the majority of his time at Troy lined up as a 0 or 1-tech nose tackle. According to Pro Football Focus, he played north of 70 percent of his snaps as a senior in 2023 and over 80 percent of his snaps in 2022 over the A-gap as a nose tackle . Given his strengths, he should compete behind veterans Johnathan Hankins and Cameron Young at the same spot in Seattle.

Playing the bulk of his snaps as a nose tackle at Troy, Jones likely will compete at the same spot with the Seahawks.
Playing the bulk of his snaps as a nose tackle at Troy, Jones likely will compete at the same spot with the Seahawks. / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Best Case Scenario

Building off a strong showing at rookie minicamp, Jones thrives once the pads come on, holding up at the point of attack against double teams and making a handful of run stops in preseason games, setting himself up to either land with another NFL team's 53-man roster or return as a prioritized practice squad signing for the Seahawks.

Worst Case Scenario

Stuck at the bottom of a crowded depth chart and unable to offer much as a pass rusher, Jones receives limited chances to show what he can do during OTAs and training camp, leading to him being cut after the first preseason game.

What to Expect in 2024

Few tryout players actually earn contracts in NFL rookie minicamps, so Jones deserves to be applauded for being signed after the three-day event to keep his dream alive. On film, his pure power and physicality shows up enough to suggest he may be able to stick around for a while and if an injury or two occurs in front of him, he may be positioned to surprise and push for a roster spot come late August.

However, while he's been a great story so far, Jones will be competing in arguably Seattle's deepest position group and he's a one-trick pony who doesn't have the versatility to slide around the defensive line or pitch in as an interior rusher. With Jarran Reed, Byron Murphy II, Hankins, and Young all being capable of playing the nose position in a pinch, he's a long shot at best whose ceiling looks to be a practice squad spot as a developmental player for now.


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Corbin K. Smith

CORBIN K. SMITH

Graduating from Manchester College in 2012, Smith began his professional career as a high school Economics teacher in Indianapolis and launched his own NFL website covering the Seahawks as a hobby. After teaching and coaching high school football for five years, he transitioned to a full-time sports reporter in 2017, writing for USA Today's Seahawks Wire while continuing to produce the Legion of 12 podcast. He joined the Arena Group in August 2018 and also currently hosts the daily Locked On Seahawks podcast with Rob Rang and Nick Lee. Away from his coverage of the Seahawks and the NFL, Smith dabbles in standup comedy, is a heavy metal enthusiast and previously performed as lead vocalist for a metal band, and enjoys distance running and weight lifting. A habitual commuter, he resides with his wife Natalia in Colorado and spends extensive time reporting from his second residence in the Pacific Northwest.