Round 6: Jackson State DE Javancy Jones – 6-1, 252 – 4.62
Previous Pick: Villanova DE Tanoh Kpassagon
In the sixth round the Bucs draft a pure football player in Jones, a do-it-all All-American at Jackson State and the SWAC Player of the Year in 2016. Jones was an incredibly productive player for the FCS school recording 339 tackles in his career along with 74.5 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks and six forced fumbles, numerous tackles and a blocked punt on special teams and even a pair of touchdowns while lining up as a tight end and a fullback in goal line offense.
Jones, who is a bit undersized at 6-foot-1, 252 pounds, models his game after Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and Oakland’s Khalil Mack, who made history as he was the first player to be named to the AP All-Pro team at two positions – both a defensive end and a linebacker. Jones earned a similar distinction, being named to the All-SWAC first-team as a defensive end and second-team as a linebacker last season.
Jones’ Jackson State Career Stats
2016: 82 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 TD catch
2015: 95 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
2014: 108 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble
2013: 54 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 TD catch
The Mississippi native played in four different schemes under four different coordinators in four years at Jackson State where he played defensive end half the time and outside linebacker the other half. He does his best work near the line of scrimmage in pass rush situations, racking up sacks and tackles for loss in the run game.
The passionate Jones, who was invited to the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. quickly emerged as one of the vocal leaders during the game where he was primarily moved to linebacker. He played all three positions during the week, but played at weakside linebacker during the game where he notched four tackles and a tackle for loss.
The appeal in drafting Jones, who is the same size as Tampa Bay defensive end Noah Spence just two inches shorter, is that he could compete with Devante Bond for the strongside linebacker role next year as the team is not expected to re-sign current starter Daryl Smith, who turns 35 in March. Jones could play Sam linebacker in base defense on first and second down and then move to defensive end on third-and-long or obvious pass-rushing downs.
“It doesn’t matter if I get drafted, or if I sign as a free agent at a rookie mini-camp,” Jones said. “Once I get my foot in the door I’m not leaving.”
Jones also excels on special teams, covering kicks and punts during all four years at Jackson State – even after he became the Tigers’ star defensive player. Jones also won the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which is given to the best football player in the state of Mississippi. Jones beat Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram and Mississippi State wide receiver Fred Ross for the honors.
Click below to view Tampa Bay’s seventh-round pick in 2017.