Packers Brad Jones: 2012 Player Evaluation and Report Card All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Brad Jones
Brad Jones

1) Introduction: Taken in the seventh round of the 2009 draft by the Packers, Brad Jones has so far had an interesting career, to say the least. He was thrust into a starting role during his rookie year when Aaron Kampman suffered a season-ending injury. Jones remained the starter in 2010 until a shoulder injury sidelined him for the rest of the year. Since then, he has seen the field sporadically, not being able to lock down a permanent position on the team.

2) Profile:

Bradley Edward Jones

  • Age: 26
  • Born: 04/01/1986, in Lansing, MI
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 242
  • College: Colorado
  • Rookie Year: 2009
  • NFL Experience: 4 years

Career Stats and more

3) Expectations coming into the season: With Erik Walden being re-signed and Nick Perry drafted to be the starting outside linebacker across from Clay Matthews, Brad Jones looked to be filling the role of back-up once again. The coaches had experimented with moving him to inside linebacker during OTAs, but come training camp, he appeared to move back to his original role as outside linebacker. Nobody foresaw the need for Jones to take a starting role at inside linebacker.

4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: I have to be honest here, I can’t recall much in the way of glowing moments for Brad Jones. Of course, I also can’t think of any epic failures, either. He had a good game against the Tennessee Titans, with a sack and six recorded stops for the defense, so take that for what it’s worth.

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: For a third-string starter outside of his natural position, Brad Jones filled in rather admirably for the fallen Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith. He didn’t make a lot of impact plays, but he worked hard and took care of his assignments. Despite being the lone ILB in dime packages, Jones wasn’t particularly strong in coverage, though certainly he was a better option than A.J. Hawk.

6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Brad Jones’ level of contributions in the postseason was consistent with what he did in the regular season. He struggled in run support against Minnesota and San Francisco, but his pass coverage was respectable. Despite allowing five receptions on six targets, they were only for a grand total of 26 yards.


Season Report Card:

(B+) Level of expectations met during the season

(C+) Contributions to team’s overall success.

(C+) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: B-


Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski


  • ThomasMagnumPI

    I think that when you have a player without a position coming into the season that ends up starting and being an asset, you have to give him a bit more credit than this.

    PFF says he was pretty darn good, and I would tend to agree:

    “Brad Jones would be a quality signing at a fraction of the cost. Jones played inside linebacker in a 3-4, but his size and speed would translate well to a 4-3 outside linebacker. He covered well (+4.6 cover grade) and did well against the run with a Run Stop Percentage of 9.2 (Posluszny’s was 7.5).”

    The above was from a Jacksonville Jags blog, but the numbers remain the same.

    • Chad Toporski

      I agree, and that’s why he got a B+ for expectations met. I would reserve an “A” for far exceeding those expectations, not just rising above them.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        I am going politely disagree, just because of how low my expectations were for Jones (ST player and 4th-string ILB) and how well he filled in as an every-down player (positive PFF numbers from above.) I would give him an “A”, not because he was a top-10 ILB in the league, which he wasn’t, but because GB got so much cheap production out of him.

        Maybe my thoughts on it are that he was never a liability, and allowed the rest of the D to do their thing without having to scheme around his deficiencies.

        In a vacuum, his production shouldn’t have him selected to the Pro-Bowl, but when you have a guy go from a fringe player fighting for a roster spot to a legitimate contender to start this following year, I think that warrants an “A” grade somewhere.

        Maybe then A for “expectations met” and C+ for “overall success.”

        Good job with the article though!

        • Chad Toporski

          Definitely a valid argument to be made!

  • ThomasMagnumPI

    “Despite being the lone ILB in dime packages, Jones wasn’t particularly strong in coverage, though certainly he was a better option than A.J. Hawk.”

    I disagree with the first phrase, but agree with the second.

    • Chad Toporski

      Perhaps I worded it a little too harshly. He did, though, (according to PFF) give up 31 receptions on 44 targets (70.5%) for an average of 9.6 yards per catch. He also allowed 2 TDs and only defensed 3 passes. QBs had an average 104.3 rating when targeting him.

      Not great, but definitely not horrible.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        That makes sense. Those numbers paint a different picture than the PFF numbers, so I wonder what their criteria are for a plus rating.

        • Oppy

          To PFF, they differentiate between stats and meaningful statistics taken in context.

          Example: A stat sheet might say that a player allowed 3 completions out 3 targets for a total of 40 yards, and that would look pretty bad.

          PFF asks, what’s the context?

          What if it were:

          1 completion for 11 yards, in the redzone, as the clock expired going into halftime, the defensive player being the last line of defense and making the sure stop to keep the opponent off the scoreboard? That could be a positive play.. 1 completion for 7 yards on 3rd and 8, the defender playing over the top and sticking the receiver to stop the drive (a postive play), and a 22 yard reception allowed along the sideline during the final seconds of the game, however, the defender kept the receiver in bounds as the opposing team was frantically driving down the field to attempt to tie the game from deep in their own territory with no time outs remaining (Perhaps a neutral or positive rating.)

        • Oppy

          Thomasmagnum, I should have just let them explain it:

          • ThomasMagnumPI

            Thanks for the link Oppy. I knew they did something like this, but it’s nice to have the specifics in front of me.

            Even if these stats aren’t the end-all, I feel like they are MUCH more telling than any “box-score” numbers. I especially hate the “tackles” stat. What a useless number!

      • Stroh

        So your OK w him making every QB we played against look likr an MVP? Sorry don’t see how that is acceptable. That much worse than Hawk. Isn’t coverage supposes to be his forte? Give him D+…

  • Ron LC

    Showed some improvement when given a shot at ILB. Definetely should be given a chance at playing more in relief this year. He could fit into a D scheme that rotates guys a lot to keep the legs fresh for the whole game. Fresher legs = more aggressive play. More aggressive play = more dominating D. They will need that next year.

    • Chad Toporski

      I think Jones is a strong backup and might be seen as a spot player in the future. As you said, he could provide some relief and maybe a little change of pace when needed. The only thing going against him is that he’s already had a few years in the league now. How much higher is his ceiling from where he is?

  • Dan

    Earned himself a spot on this team with consistent play. Very rarely out of position. A blue collar guy who could very well push for a starting role given another year at the position.

    • Chad Toporski

      I really think he could have done more prior to this year if injuries didn’t get in the way. I remember when he came in at OLB and performed well, only to end up on IR. (Didn’t he get injured tackling Favre?)

  • Think a B- is a perfect grade. Did anyone honestly expect Jones to go from a maybe to make the team to starting ILB (by default because of injuries, but still) in a year he switched from OLB to the inside? And play fairly well? I sure didn’t.

    Is he great? Far from it. But did he exceed expectations in 2012? Absolutely.

    • Chad Toporski

      Thanks John!

  • Stroh

    Jones gave up the most 20 yd pass rec on the team despite playing just over 1/2 season. That along w being soft in run support isn’t good for an ILB. Good backup and. ST guy not a starter tho.

    • Oppy

      Well, for playing “just over half a season”, he also tallied 77 tackles, 4 passes defensed 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries..

      Technically, he started 10 games. If you project a full 16 game year, the numbers (rounded to the nearest whole) look like this: 123 Tackles, 6 passes defensed, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries.

      I know that’s not an accurate depiction, but it is what it is- compare those type of projected numbers to the rest of the league:

      Not too shabby, quite frankly.

      Lastly, there’s the PFF grading as previously mentioned.. Those numbers are based on a play-by-play assessment of a winning or losing performance on every down played for each player. I urge you to read the link I posted for ThomasMagnum- PFF isn’t the end all, be all, but they are thorough and the way they grade is structured so that if they aren’t sure, they don’t guess and botch it.

      • Oppy

        For those that are not up to looking at the stats page, I thought I’d let you know that that number of projected tackles would put Brad Jones as the 17th most tackles of any player in the NFL in 2012, with all of his other stats I listed being on par with the competition. The statistic that would distinguish the top ten tackle leading LB’s from Jones in a significant manner would be INT’s.

        This is NOT to say he’s the 17th best LB in the league by any means. But his production in limited snaps suggests he’s not a dog by any stretch of the imagination, either.

  • Klausen

    considering that a lot of fans thought he wouldn’t make the roster at all in the summer, I’d say A+ for expectations met.. Even after he made the roster, nobody thought he’d get any playing time, people thought Francoise or Manning and Lattimore would take the ILB spot, not Jones..

  • I liked what Jones did this season. He got better as his playing time increased. I think he needs to be a bit tougher against the run, but I also saw him make plays against the run that neither Bishop or Smith have the range to make.I also put him as being better in coverage then both Bishop and Smith.
    I think your grade for him is spot on. Jones needs further development as a ILB, With more work just as a ILB he can be solid starting player.

    • Oppy

      I think Jones played well enough that if the Packers were to let him go, he would find a new home in a hurry.