Monday, March 8, 2010
Ranking the Big Ten: Greg Jones, No. 5
By ESPN.com staff
The Big Ten postseason player rankings, based on past performance and future potential, continue with ...
Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State, Jr., 6-1, 228
Preseason rank: 11
Why he's here: Few players back up their preseason hype, but Jones not only met expectations but exceeded them in 2009. The Big Ten preseason Defensive Player of the Year continued to produce at an extremely high rate, leading the league and finishing third nationally in tackles with 154. Jones has led Michigan State in tackles in each of his three seasons as a Spartan. Jones also led Michigan State in tackles for loss (14), sacks (nine) and quarterback hurries (eight). He was the only linebacker to rank among the Big Ten's sack leaders, coming in at fifth. Not surprisingly, Jones and Penn State's Jared Odrick shared Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors.
About the only knock on Jones, and it's more of an unknown than a flaw, is how he projects to the NFL. He put in paperwork with the draft advisory board but decided to return to Michigan State, saying: "The news wasn't exactly terrible. It just wasn't good enough." Jones' size could be a concern for pro teams, but his production at the college level shouldn't be overlooked. Few linebackers make as many plays as Jones, especially behind the line of scrimmage. He'll once again enter 2010 as one of the Big Ten's top players.