The Cincinnati Bengals signed the undrafted free agent defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones following the draft. He’s the most likely to make the roster.
The Cincinnati Bengals signed former Arkansas State edge rusher Ja’Von Rolland-Jones following the 2018 NFL Draft. Jones had a remarkable career at Arkansas State collecting 42 sacks and 63 tackles for a loss in his four-season career. The young edge rusher has yet to face significant competition which has teams concerned about his potential at the next level.
We discussed Rolland-Jones as an excellent prospect for Cincinnati a few days ago, but now Bleacher Report has published an article on which UDFA will make the roster for each NFL team. Rolland-Jones was the most likely to make the Bengals roster and I couldn’t agree more. Jones already has the polished hand fighting skills and bend around the edge that most players coming out of the bigger school don’t even have yet.
Even with his poor performance at the combine and running a 4.88 40-yard dash, I think that Jones could be a solid rotational piece in the Bengals pass rush. Cincinnati is already extremely talented along the defensive line with names like Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson, Geno Atkins, and Jordan Willis. Throw in linebacker Carl Lawson who played edge for the team last season with great success, and it looks like a great unit. They also brought in defensive end Sam Hubbard from Ohio State to bolster the already talented group.
Which leads me to what role would Jones have in this defense for him to make the 53 man roster? Cincinnati should look to replicate the Philadelphia Eagles rotation of defensive line players after what we saw them do last season. Including in the Super Bowl as the New England Patriots tried to wear down the defense but were no match for the Eagles depth resulting in a strip sack in the Patriots final drive.
Could Rolland-Jones come into Cincinnati’s defense and play the role that Carl Lawson played a year ago? Limited snaps on obvious passing situations allowing other pass rushers to catch their breath? There’s no such thing as having too many pass rushers, and with Hubbard being more of a run stopping edge, I think that Jones could pick up some of those pass rushing snaps and even the ones left behind by Chris Smith.
Edge rushers are hard to come by, and if the Bengals feel they can add Jones into the rotation of talent, it will benefit them tremendously. There’s no such thing as too many pass rushers, and I think that Jones could develop into a solid player. With all of the hand fighting and bend he already has in his game, I see no reason the Bengals can’t develop him into something more prominent at the next level.