LA Chargers defensive line grades: Justin Jones
With a 4-3 scheme, there’s room for one more player in the starting rotation on the line. Right now, it’s Jones who will fill the spot next to Joseph.
Jones’ rookie season in 2018 was rough. He really struggled with tackling and rush defense. Towards the end of the 2018 campaign, he showed some signs of life. His performance against the Ravens in the playoffs was great, and it’s one of the reasons Ingram thrived to the degree he did in that game.
Entering 2019, the expectation was that his reps and snaps would go up over the course of the season. That ended up being the case with the team being thinner at tackle. Jones would play on 204 more snaps than he did in 2018.
Thankfully, there was a lot of improvement in year two. Rush defense was specifically an area of great improvement, as he jumped nearly 15 points in his grade from year one to year two against the run. When it came to fighting over the top of blocks as opposed to trying to go underneath, Jones really excelled.
With key players like Mebane, Damion Square, and Sylvester Williams not being brought back, Jones’ role is going to become even bigger. He’ll see in an increase in snaps without a doubt. After seeing the jump he took from year one to year two, I’m even more excited to see the leap he takes in year three. If he could become just a bit more dynamic as a pass rusher, the team could have a truly scary defensive line all around.