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Rookie Roles: LB Greg Jones

Posted Jul 11, 2011

With their sixth round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Michigan State LB Greg Jones. This 5’11 LB was a key contributor to the Spartans’ defense and will look to make an impact on both the defense and special teams units of the Giants.


College Career: Jones had the most productive and decorated college career of any 2011 Giants draft choice. He is only the fourth two-time consensus first-team All-American in program history (joining Bubba Smith, George Webster and Lorenzo White) and one of only two Spartans to earn first-team Associated Press All-American honors twice (Webster). He was a consensus All-America in 2009-10, becoming the first Michigan State player to be so honored in back-to-back seasons since Smith and Webster in 1965-66. Jones joined Webster as the only Spartans to earn first-team Associated Press All-America honors twice. He was just the seventh MSU player be selected first-team All-Big Ten three times. Jones played in 52 games with 46 starts at Michigan State. He started 15 games at strongside linebacker and 31 at middle linebacker. His career totals included 465 tackles (236 solo) with 16.5 sacks for minus 97 yards, 46.5 stops for losses totaling 160 yards and 15 quarterback pressures. His 465 tackles rank 10th in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history. He led the Spartans in tackles in each of his four seasons, joining Dan Bass (1976-79) as the only players in school history to do so. Jones’ 154 tackles in 2009 rank seventh on the MSU single-season chart. In 2007, he had 78 tackles to become the first true freshman to lead the Spartans in 31 years. Jones was the first Michigan State player since Percy Snow (127 in 1987, 164 in 1988, 172 in 1989) to record at least 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons (127 in 2008, 154 in 2009, 106 in 2010). He produced double-figure tackle games 20 times in his career.

 

Strengths: Jones has a nose for the ball and makes plays – lots and lots of plays. His determination and tackle totals help obscure the fact that he lacks the height most of their other linebackers possess. But he is compact, thickly built and strong.

 

How He Fits In: The impulse is to say he will begin his career as so many linebackers do, as a special teamer who could see some spot duty on defense. But it’s doubtful Jones agrees with that line of thinking. He likely hopes to get a shot to unseat Jonathan Goff as the Giants’ starting middle linebacker. At the very least, he’ll be looking to carve out the biggest possible role he can get. Based on his college achievements, it’s hard to bet against him.

 

Personal: Jones played at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, which boats a nationally-renowned football program. As a senior, Rivals.com rated him as the state of Ohio’s 16th-best prep prospect…Jones was an All-State honorable mention and All-District and All-City first-team in 2006, his senior season. A two-time All-Greater Catholic League selection, he led the Crusaders with 71 tackles (35 solos), recording 23 stops for losses of 110 yards, including 11.5 sacks for minus 78 yards. He collected five of those sacks in one game vs. Elder High School. He was  Media Arts major at Michigan State.

 

The Quote: “(Jones) has tons of production. This guy has sacks. He has tons and tons of tackles. He’s played at a high level, very instinctive player. Another guy who’s going to come in with a chip on his shoulder because I’m pretty sure he feels like he should’ve been picked a lot higher than where he got picked. He’ll come in here with something to prove as well, along with Marvin Austin.” – General Manager Jerry Reese