The Pittsburgh Steelers came to terms with nine undrafted players at the conclusion of the 2014 NFL Draft and one of those players, defensive end Howard Jones out of Shepherd University, seems to be creating quite a bit of buzz as far as the fan base goes.
On the Monday edition of The David Todd Show, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was kind enough to provide a quick bio on the 6’2″, 235 pound outside linebacker prospect.
“Howard, he’s an athletic kid,” started Colbert. “He’ll still have to grow some physically, but he’s got a nice skill set. He worked out good. He did produce at the Division II level, I don’t want to say he dominated, but he stood out at the Division II level. He had a chance to play in one of the postseason games and he didn’t look out of place there.
“He was definitely a draftable guy and we were happy to be able to get him as a priority free agent, quite honestly. We would have considered drafting him, but didn’t have enough picks to quite get that done, so we were fortunate enough to sign him as a free agent to see what he’s got.”
Jones, who was a 2013 finalist for the Cliff Harris Award (Small College Defensive Player of the Year), recorded 35 sacks and 69.5 tackles for loss in 47 games played at Shepherd.
At the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, Jones’ 40.5-inch vertical jump was best for the down linemen and second-best among the linebackers that took part in the event. The Steelers obviously put him through linebacker drills either at his Pro Day or during private workout and liked what they saw.
By the time training camp rolls around, I’m sure Jones will be the camp darling as far as undrafted free agents go and he really sounds like a likeable kid in the interview below that gave to WRNR Radio back at his Pro Day.[audio:http://www.talkradiowrnr.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Howard-Jones-DL.mp3]