Outside of the Power 5 conferences, there are always a handful of highly graded prospects, some of whom are picked as early as the top five overall. The one prospect who is coming out of the Sun Belt Conference that is generating the most buzz is edge rusher Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, the conference defensive player of the year in both 2016 and 2017. He finished with 43.5 career sacks, just .5 away from the all-time NCAA career record set by Terrell Suggs.
What He Does Well:
Powerful on contact with the blocker. Natural and easy power from his hands that is coupled with pro-caliber technique and mechanics. Easily bends and turns the edge. Can maintain his power on the move and finished with authority. Equally productive with inside moves and rushing the edge. Has a nose for the ball through traffic. Can read a blocker and adjust his approach on the fly.
Where He Needs Work:
Initial burst off the edge won’t be good enough to put an NFL tackle on his heels. Needs to take better angles when rushing the outside shoulder. A lot of wasted motion and steps, inefficient approach. Seems hesitant at times, effort runs hot and cold.