Ronald Jones II is coming off a highly productive 2017 for the USC Trojans but the question still remains: can the star running back have success at the next level?
His draft grade sits at a 6.4(out of 10) as of right now according to NFL.com—here’s what is being said about Jones:
Measurements: 6’0”, 200 lbs, 40 time: 4.49
- Not turnover prone
- Ability to slip through tight spaces
- Waits for play to develop
- Top play speed
- Fights for extra yardage
- Lean frame
- Teams unsure of ability to be an every down back
- Has tendency of getting “too far downhill”
Breaking It Down
Jones was one of the lone sources of consistency for the Trojans on the offensive side of the ball during the 2017 season (he finished with 1,550 yards rushing and 19 touchdowns). It seemed like game-in and game-out he was counted on by USC to establish the ground game - which was relied on when the going got tough for the passing game.
His ability to wait for plays to develop and hit open holes with the type of speed that can break plays open will translate well at the next level. His running style is that of a slasher who has wiggle and explosiveness - all things that will have pro teams willing to add him to their offenses.
Another upside - one of great importance - is his knack for holding onto the ball: over 591 carries at USC he had just a mere amount of 2 fumbles. Two. That’s it.
The runner has starting potential but some will knock him for being on the leaner side (he has a similar build to Jamaal Charles). This has a few scouts worried about whether or not Ronald Jones II will be able to hang in there and take the beating that running backs take in the NFL.
Career Statistics/Accomplishments at USC
Overall: Rushing - 591 carries, 3,619 yards, 39 touchdowns, 6.1 avg; Receiving - 32 receptions, 302 yards, 3 touchdowns; 1st Team All-American (2017), 1st Team All-PAC-12 (2017), 2nd Team All-PAC-12 (2016)
2015 season: Rushing - 153 carries, 987 yards, 8 touchdowns, 6.5 avg; Receiving - 7 receptions, 39 yards, 1 touchdown
2016 season: Rushing - 177 carries, 1,082 yards, 12 touchdowns, 6.1 avg; Receiving - 11 receptions, 76 yards, 1 touchdown
2017 season: Rushing - 261 carries, 1,550 yards, 19 touchdowns, 5.9 avg; Receiving - 14 receptions, 187 yards, 1 touchdown
Ultimately, I think he grades out well at the NFL Combine and earns enough trust among scouts and GM’s for someone to take a chance on him in the second round of the NFL Draft. He has the chance of being a starter eventually but may need a year or two to sit behind an established running back while he adds on some muscle to his frame.
Round projection: 2-3