With pick #163 in the 2010 NFL draft the Miami Dolphins took safety Reshad Jones out of the University of Georgia. As a high school football star Jones played running back, wide receiver, and defensive-back too. The Bulldogs staff made him a full-time player for the secondary, which was a-okay with Jones. He likes to attack the ball carriers/receivers, and he likes to hit so safety was a good fit for him.
Entering his 3rd season with the Dolphins, Jones looks like he will get starters minutes/playing time. He has 28 NFL games under his belt, 14 as a starter (12 starts in 2011). He has good size at 6’1″ 215.
He brings good tackling to the secondary, and is adept at reading the running lanes and attacking them to get after ball-carriers. He knows his angles very well. He has good downhill aggression. Jones is a sure asset against the oppositions run-game. Solo-tackle machine.
Against the pass he does read routes well, but can get lost when a WR makes a sharp/crisp cut. His hard-hitting style does make a WR think twice about comfortably coming over the middle of the field. He has decent speed, but not enough to be able to catch-up to a WR if he is beaten. For that reason he usually does a good job of getting the play to happen in front of him so he does not get lost/beaten for a big play. He is not great vs WRs, but defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle will be working with him to sharpen his coverage skills so he can be effective vs TEs that are trying to work the middle of the field.
The 2012 Dolphins are desperate to find a way to get their secondary to create interceptions. In 2 NFL seasons Jones has had just 2 (1 each season) but he was a guy who created turnovers in college so there is hope. He has a tendency to let the ball get too far into his body, rather that properly using his hands to catch would-be interceptions. Work needed here.
The cupboard is not bare for the ‘Phins after Jones. Tyrone Culver and Jimmy Wilson are on Jones’ heels. The best way for Jones to start/middle/end the season as a starter is to continue his excellent play vs the run, but also do something to help create turnovers. Coach Coyle has a history of getting good play from his defensive-backs so we will watch closely to see Jones’ improvements under him.
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