On Sunday, we had just discussed how the Green Bay Packers roster was at 89 players, one below the maximum of 90, so a signing — although we didn’t know when — was going to be coming.
Free agency was, of course, still an option, but the Packers instead chose to sign edge rusher Kobe Jones, who the team had in for a tryout during rookie mini-camp over the weekend.
We know that Rashan Gary and Preston Smith will be leading the way once again at the edge rusher position this season for the Green Bay Packers, but who joins them as part of the rotation remains an unknown.
Last season, there was a real lack of impact plays, both against the pass and the run, when Smith and Gary weren’t on the field. OLB Coach Jason Reborvich would mention earlier this offseason that he wants a rotation of four players for each game. On top of that, there may end up being five total edge rushers on the roster.
This means that there are three roster spots up for grabs, with two of those spots likely seeing some form of steady playing time–while Green Bay hopefully gets more out of those third and fourth edge rusher roles than they did in 2021. The players fighting for those roster spots and snaps will be Randy Ramsey, Kingsley Enagbare, La’Darius Hamilton, Tipa Galeai, Jonathan Garvin, Chauncey Mack, and now, Kobe Jones.
Jones was a 2021 UDFA who spent training camp and the preseason with Atlanta before being cut. He would then spend time on the Miami and Tennessee practice squads. He was recently cut by the Titans following the NFL Draft.
Coming out of Mississippi State, Jones measured in at 6’3″ – 255 pounds. He spent four seasons there, totaling 1,303 snaps, most of which came as a traditional edge rusher, but he does have an additional 400 snaps lined up inside either over the offensive tackle or in the B-gap, according to PFF ($$).
Jones would record 50 pressures over his career with 40 of them coming during his final two seasons, along with all five of his career sacks, when he saw the most playing time. Jones would also record 19 tackles for loss and 41 stops over his four years, but tackling was an issue at times with his high miss rate. It’s also worth noting that Jones totaled 226 special teams snaps at Mississippi State as well.
Although Jones spent 2021 bouncing around the NFL, his prospect summary from Jordan Reid of The Draft Network can still provide some insight into his game, given that he isn’t all that far removed from his college days. Here is what Reid had to say:
“Kobe Jones is a rusher who received his chance to start during the final season of his career. Appearing in 49 career games (12 starts), he has plenty of experience in the toughest conference in the country. With lots of explosiveness and bend, he has the potential to become a situational designated pass rusher as he continues to develop as a run defender. Up until that point, he could need time on the practice squad as he continues to gain strength and add weight onto his frame.”
As previously mentioned, as stout and productive as Smith and Gary are, those roster spots behind them on the depth chart feel very much up for grabs. Jones will have the opportunity to compete for one of those roster spots or perhaps a spot on the practice squad this summer.