Lance Briggs is the only linebacker to be guaranteed a starting linebacker spot with the Chicago Bears, leaving two more spots on the depth chart to be figured out. Training camp will be a perfect time for this, as each potential starter will get an adequate amount of consideration for a starting spot. Out of all the names to be put out there as options at linebacker, there is one name to consider — Christian Jones.
Chicago Bears impressed with Jones
In a previous article previewing who to watch among the Bears’ undrafted group, I talked about Jones and his statistics while at Florida State. He showcased his abilities at every linebacker position (Mike, Will and Sam), and even at defensive end for a short time. Versatility is something the Bears will preach in camp, as the defensive coaches have experience in all types of defensive blueprints so Jones’ time with the Seminoles could bode well for him. His size and length should help him as well; Jones stands 6-foot-3 inches tall at 240 pounds.
D.J. Williams, Shea McClellin, Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene all figure to be a part of the starting rotation in some capacity, whether it be in certain packages or situations. McClellin reinvented himself this offseason but has a lot to prove in training camp, so he is still a work in progress. Williams, Bostic, and Greene will be fighting for a starting spot along with McClellin, but do not count out Jones as a viable option or a No. 2 guy.
Although his failed drug test was the main culprit that led to him falling out of the draft altogether, he has taken the right steps to regain the trust of the right people and believes this will fuel him heading into a pivotal time for him.
“I’m not going to sit here and mope about it. Like I said, things happen. And I’m fortunate enough, I’m blessed to still get on a team,” Jones said. A good guy to have in your corner would be the head coach, and head coach Marc Trestman is behind the Florida State product. Another guy who can hopefully turn Jones into an impact player is linebackers coach Reggie Herring, who played with Jones’ dad at FSU.
The family bloodline stemming from FSU should be a big factor; Willie Jones led the Oakland Raiders with 10 sacks as a rookie in 1979 and knows what it takes to succeed in the NFL, so look for the younger Jones to learn from his father and adapt to the professional level quickly. Early impressions of him are positive, and he has potential to be a great linebacker in the NFL. The real test, however, will come July 25th when the Bears strap on the pads and begin camp in Bourbonnais.