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Camp Spotlight: Linebacker Christian Jones

CHRISTIAN JONES

Position: Linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 244

College: Florida State

Experience: Fifth season

Outlook: Jones (6-3, 244) was part of the offseason plan to rebuild Detroit’s linebacking corps with the goal of gaining size, physicality and versatility at the position.

Jones spent his first four seasons in Chicago. He’s coming off a 2017 campaign that saw him record 90 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games (11 starts). He has terrific size, and can play a number of roles in Matt Patricia and Paul Pasqualoni’s defense.

Jones is part of the group of linebackers who typically split their practice time between linebacker and pass-rushing drills.

Devon Kennard, Jones and Jarrad Davis have gotten the most reps with the first-team defense at the linebacker spots in camp. Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Steve Longa have also worked themselves into that rotation. 

Practice report: Thursday’s joint practice with the Giants was more of a walkthrough than an actual practice, but the Lions did work through some situations early in practice amongst themselves on one of the outdoor fields at their Allen Park training facility. Just in those short periods, we saw how versatile Jones could be in this defense.

He lines up most frequently on the inside alongside Davis. But the Lions will also use Jones coming off both edges as a rusher. There was even one rep Thursday where Jones put his hand in the dirt as a three-technique in an overloaded front. 

He’s a guy the Lions can move around and play the matchup game with because of his size and versatility.

Quotable: “He’s a big guy, he’s long, and he can do a couple different things really well,” head coach Matt Patricia said of Jones. “So, someone like that is great. You can move him around and put pressure on the offense to identify where he is and where he’s at from that standpoint. 

“I think the best thing he’s done is just, again, continuously showing up every single day, showing up to grind it out and try to improve and get better, which he has. I’d say he’s done a great job from that big picture, learning atmosphere and understanding that it’s not just a position name, it’s the spots on the field and how do those interchange with themselves. So, that’s been pretty good for him.”

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