Matt Waldman’s NFL Lens Chandler Jones: Bending the Edge

Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens examines the vicious beauty of edge rusher Chandler Jones strip-sacking Russell Wilson. 

Chandler Jones bends the edge as well as any pass rusher in the league. On this play, he reaches the edge only to get pushed in the back as he works around the tackle. On the razor’s edge of falling before he reaches Russell Wilson, Jones illustrates a compelling example of Integrated Technique by transforming an obstacle into an asset.

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Jones raises his inside arm early to counter-balance his weight. It’s not an efficient movement on its own but considering the context of the situation, keeping one’s balance and setting up a strip-sack with the same maneuver is as efficient as it gets.

What Jones does isn’t taught; it’s an integration of his athletic ability, understanding the range of win-loss outcomes with his body’s position and balance, the awareness of his surroundings, and the mission at hand. Players who create winning outcomes from losing hands with efficient effort and elite athletic traits are the most likely to transition from a raw project to a refined professional.

That’s Chandler Jones and many edge rushing prospects entering the league. According to Justis Mosqueda, creator of Force Players, edge rushers are the most predictable prospects of the draft evaluation trade because there are only so many tools they need and if they possess the baseline athletic skills the tools are teachable within a year or two.

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