SB Nation's initial 2011 NFL Mock Draft was released earlier today. While much of the focus for all mock drafts around these parts will be only on which player the Detroit Lions are projected to draft, let's not forget about the local college players entering the NFL Draft. Not many are expected to be taken early on in the NFL Draft, but Michigan State linebacker at the very least has the potential to go in the first round, as evidenced by the SB Nation mock draft.â†µ
In SB Nation's mock draft, Jones is slated to be taken by the New Orleans Saints with what is currently the 26th overall pick. (Picks for playoff teams could change based on when the teams are eliminated.) The basis for the pick is that of the Saints' few weaknesses, linebacker is one of them. Jones is a player that is athletic and finds his way to the ball, so he could compete for a starting spot on the weak side. Not only that, but he could move inside to his college position to spell Jonathan Vilma, who would be a good player to learn from.
Jones is the only player from a Michigan college in the SB Nation mock draft. As mentioned previously, not many players from Michigan and Michigan State are expected to go early on in the NFL Draft, so a mock draft would have to be a few rounds for someone other than Jones to pop up. (This assumes that nobody leaves early, of course. If Kirk Cousins or Mike Martin surprisingly decided to go pro, they would likely be taken in the first couple rounds.)