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NFL Prospect Focus: Brent Urban and Christian Jones

Greg Gabriel breaks down the two defensive prospects. Greg Gabriel

April 10, 2014
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Brent Urban – Defensive Tackle – Virginia
Size – 6066 – 296 – 5.05e
Strong Points – Very good size, good motor, defense run, two-gap and holds the point, gets his hands up to knock down passes
Weak Points – Has had injury problems, unable to work at combine or pro day, raw prospect, pass rush moves, inconsistent hand use
2013 Stats – eight games played, 40 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, one sack, nine pass knockdowns
Summation – Urban is a fifth-year senior and a two-year starter for Virginia. Brent is Canadian from suburban Toronto. He has had numerous injuries during his career that caused him to miss time. The injuries include and an ACL, a wrist, and foot injury. He was unable to work out at the combine or Virginia’s pro day because of the foot injury.
When healthy, Urban is raw but talented. He lines up as a defensive tackle in a 4-3. At 6066 – 296, he has great size and plays strong at the point of attack. He is a very good competitor who plays every down snap-to-whistle.
Urban is best as a run defender. He has excellent snap reaction with a quick first step. While he lacks great hand use, he still has active hands and shows he can get rid of blocks. He has good reactions and finds the ball. With his quickness off the ball, he gets penetration and is disruptive versus the run game. He is a good pursuit player who takes good angles and shows pursuit speed.
Urban doesn’t have much pass rush production with only three career sacks, but he does get pressures and is effective getting his hands up and knocking down passes. This year, he knocked down nine passes. Urban lacks technique as a pass rusher. He is more of a bull rusher now and doesn’t do a good job of putting moves together.
While still raw, Urban has a chance to be a good NFL defensive lineman. With his size, he is best suited to play a five-technique in an odd front. His injuries don’t help his cause, and that could have an effect on where he gets drafted. He has third-to-fourth round talent but may go later.
Grade B 6.5x

Christian Jones – Outside Linebacker – Florida State
Size – 6033 – 240 – 4.71
Strong Points – Size, athlete, play speed, pass rush, pursuit, pass drop and coverage
Weak Points – Average instincts, can be slow to shed, has average hands
2013 stats – 56 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, six QB hurries, one interception
Summation – Jones is a fourth-year junior and a three-year starter. He has played both Will and Sam linebacker for Florida St. On passing downs, he is often lines up in a three-point stance as a pass rusher.
Jones has very good outside linebacker size at 6033 – 240. He is a very good athlete who is smooth, has good change of direction, and plays faster than his timed speed. He has loose hips and moves well in transition.
Jones is more of a reactor than an instinctive player. He doesn’t anticipate things. It’s more "see" then react. This can cause him to be a step late getting to plays. His overall run defense is good. He plays with strength at the point and seldom gives ground to blockers. He needs to use his hands better and shed more quickly. He is a very good pursuit player who takes good angles and shows he can catch plays from behind.
While not used in coverage a lot, he has a good drop, shows he can play man or zone and has good ball reactions. At the combine, he showed average hands. As a pass rusher, he gets off the ball quickly, stays low, and is able to push the pocket. He has some moves, and while he doesn’t have a great many sacks, he gets pressures.
Overall, Jones can play as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or be a Sam in a 4-3. In either case, he will probably be used as a designated pass rusher for passing situations. I don’t see Jones coming in as a rookie starter, but he can contribute on special teams. He needs to develop quicker reactions in order to become a starter. It will be his second or third year before he becomes a fulltime player.
Grade – B 6.5

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