Evaluating Mississippi State at the Halfway Point

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Sep 26, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Roc Thomas (9) is brought down by Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive lineman Chris Jones (98) and defensive lineman Cory Thomas (34) during the third quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Most Disappointing Player: Chris Jones

Chris Jones is not a bad football player. As a matter of fact, if you knew nothing of his history and everything surrounding his arrival in Starkville, most would define Chris Jones as a solid contributor for Mississippi State.

Unfortunately, we are all very well aware of the surge of momentum surrounding Chris Jones during his recruitment. Jones went from average recruit to the number 2 prospect in the country. He was supposed to be a can’t miss type of player. And we’re still waiting to see if he will ever be that player.

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Through the first six games in 2015, Chris Jones has 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and .5 sacks. Those numbers aren’t terrible, but when you consider what was expected of the former blue chip prospect, Jones simply has to do more.

Jones does a decent job of stopping the run somewhere around the line of scrimmage. For a defensive lineman to average six tackles a game is actually a really good number.

The issue with Jones is he doesn’t use the many physical advantages he has to impose his will on the opposing team’s offensive line. Jones is the type of player who should be living in the opponent’s backfield. Instead he his allowing the other team’s running backs to get to the line before he makes a play.

Chris Jones could get drafted by an NFL team on pure potential alone. But if he wants to be first round pick instead of a fifth or sixth round pick, it is time Chris Jones starts turning some of this potential into production.

Next: Top 10 Wins in the Dan Mullen Era