Chris Grier’s third-round success: S Brandon Jones is showing signs of progress

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On Thursday, the National Football League will begin its annual NFL Draft and head to Las Vegas, Nevada. It was back in 2020 when the league was supposed to have its event in Sin City, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that draft took place virtually.

2020 was also the year that Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier made the best out of his third-round selection. Grier used his pick No. 70 overall to select Texas safety Brandon Jones.

Jones had a fine rookie season as a depth safety, playing 37% of the defensive snaps and appearing on special teams 54% of the time. He played in all 16 games in 2020, as a rookie, and was able to get a sack under his belt in limited action.

Jones’ play could’ve been a factor in Miami parting ways with veteran team captain Bobby McCain following the 2020 season. McCain was a team leader for the Dolphins and had a productive six-year tenure in South Florida.

The former Longhorn also showed a high motor and great speed which spiked his snap count in 2021 to 64%. Jones had a tremendous season for a second-year third-round pick, tallying an NFL lead for defensive backs, five sacks. He also totaled 79 tackles, picked off his first NFL pass against the New Orleans Saints back in Week 16 and forced a fumble while recovering a pair himself.

Jones looks to be a perfect pairing with 2021’s second-round pick, budding superstar Jevon Holland. Jones looks to up his snaps on a defense that could challenge for being a top-tier unit in the AFC if not the entire NFL.

Miami has had a solid overall history of defensive third-round draft picks, including Dolphins greats like Dick Anderson and Jason Taylor, along with a solid group of linebackers such as Jerome Baker, Olivier Vernon, Morlon Greenwood, Channing Crowder and Derek Rodgers.

Look for Jones to make another step in the right direction in 2022 and continue to watch out for him on social media. He seems to have a knack for interaction, and you can see the joy that he has when playing the game. The Dolphins got a good one in 2020, and, perhaps, this time live in Las Vegas, they can welcome another hit in the third round.

List

Every draft-day trade the Dolphins have made during the Chris Grier Era