Jason Jones signs with Detroit Lions
With the release of Kyle Vanden Bosch, and the seemingly imminent losses of Cliff Avril and Sammie Lee Hill via free agency, the Detroit Lions found themselves very much in need of defensive line.
They received some on Wednesday, with the signing of Detroit native and former Eastern Michigan standout Jason Jones.
The 6-foot-5, 276-pound Jones could play a dual-threat role for the Lions in 2013, helping ease the loss of Avril and Vanden Bosch outside on run downs, then sliding to a tackle spot in passing situations. Jones has 18.5 career sacks (3.0 in 2012), though he had a career-high 5.0 in his rookie season of 2008 and 4.0 in just seven games in 2009.
Those numbers are significant because that rookie season came under then-Titans defensive coordinator and current Lions head coach Jim Schwartz. Also overseeing Jones in Tennessee, during his first two seasons there, was defensive line coach Jim Washburn, who now serves as a defensive assistant for the Lions.
In other words, the Lions’ coaching staff should have a very good idea of Jones’ capabilities. Detroit still needs to add multiple players up front — the current projected starting four looks like Jones, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Willie Young, with almost no meaningful depth behind them.
Jones gives the Lions more leeway as they move forward there.
Grade: B. A completely solid addition for the Lions. The biggest worry with Jones is his health — he’s yet to play a full 16 games. He also does not bring the formidable pass-rushing ability to the table that the Lions lost in Avril. But he’ll help in a lot of ways.