The Cleveland Browns defense is looking for answers since they lost Anthony Walker Jr. to a season-ending injury.
They think the answer can be found in linebacker Deion Jones.
Jones, who the team got from the Atlanta Falcons in a trade, is filling Walker’s position starting this Sunday.
However, the question is if he can make a difference to a Browns defense that’s struggling to stop the run.
Is this trade for him going to help the Browns, or will it become another disastrous trade for the team?
Browns’ Hope To Find A Rejuvenated Jones In Cleveland
When Jones came into the league as a rookie in 2016, he made an impact with the Falcons.
His play during the 2017 season saw him getting a Pro Bowl bid, as he had 138 tackles and three interceptions that season.
However, an injury in 2018 to his foot put him on the injury reserve.
While his 2021 season was solid in some aspects, he’s been on the sidelines during 2022 with a shoulder surgery he had during the off-season.
#Falcons have placed inside LB Deion Jones on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list due to a shoulder injury. Jones had "clean-up" surgery following the end of the season according to previous reports. pic.twitter.com/fwBIRAermj
— Gradick Sports (@GradickSports) July 21, 2022
But with him hitting the field with the Browns, they are hoping to find a rejuvenated Jones.
With his return from injury, the Browns are hoping they found a solid linebacker for cheap.
However, a deeper dive into his last two seasons might show he’s not the answer for the Browns.
Jones Suffered A Hit In His PFF Grade During 2020 And 2021
Jones was someone who had an odd 2021 season.
While his tackling numbers were solid that season, as he had 137 tackles, his PFF grade was awful.
But from 2016-2020 in Dan Quinn's defense, he earned an 85.0 overall grade.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) October 10, 2022
However, the decline started in 2020, where his PFF grade was 68.7.
Deion Jones PFF overall grade by year. Obviously had a poor 2021 bht histoticslly a quality LB for years. Still just 27, soon to be 28. With Walker on the season ending IR, the #Browns needed a veteran LB to fill in. Now we have one. pic.twitter.com/mppoYWfSQQ
— CLEology (@_CLEology) October 10, 2022
With him showing decline, and coming off a shoulder surgery, he might not be that answer the Browns currently need on defense.
But there is hope for him, as he’s shown dominance previously in his career.
While his first start with the Browns will be the first NFL action of 2022 for him, he’s in high hopes that he can produce for his new team.
Jones Can Make An Impact If His Shoulder Is Ready After His Surgery
Jones can easily make an impact with his new team, as he’s hungry to prove himself with his new team.
However, his shoulder surgery might cause him to take caution with his return to football action.
He might not go all out in his first NFL game since his surgery.
If he does this, Browns fans won’t see him making the impact they desire from him.
But according to Jones, his shoulder has been ready to go for a while.
After visiting w/ new #Browns LB Deion Jones, sounds like the IR stint was to protect him a bit while buying #Falcons time to make a trade "I wasn't expecting to go back [on IR]. They had plans and it's just how it goes." Was shoulder ready? "It was always ready to play"
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) October 12, 2022
Now it comes down to him learning the Browns playbook, which he’s diving into already.
While fans might not see an immediate impact from Jones, as he’s learning a new playbook, there’s hope for him.
He’s got the pedigree to be a force on the defensive front for Cleveland.
If he’s a quick learner, Browns fans might see this trade pay off sooner rather than later.
For the Browns defense, who gave up 238 rushing yards last Sunday, soon can’t come fast enough.