Ravens Defensive Line Coach Calls Former 3rd Round Pick ‘Special’

Travis Jones and Matthew Stafford

Getty Ravens DT Travis Jones sacks Rams QB Matthew Stafford.

The Baltimore Ravens have made a habit of churning out some of the best players on the defensive side of the football over the course of their franchise’s history. Defensive line coach Dennis Johnson believes that DT Travis Jones could be one of the next dominant defenders.

Johnson spoke to the media on Sunday, June 4 and said, “From what I’ve seen from Trav, he is a special human first, a special man, and then a special football player.”

Jones will be entering his third season in the NFL and could play a major role on a line that lost some premier pass rushers in the offseason.

Johnson also said, “You want to talk about attention to detail, that’s how he approach every day. Whether it was football school or it’s been OTAs, in the meetings, I think he should be.”

The Ravens led the NFL in sacks last season, led by fellow DT Justin Madubuike, and much of the success came from the unrelenting waves of defenders sent at the offensive line. Jones was one of those bodies that never seemed to stop.

Johnson finished by saying, “He has to continue to work, which I know he will, but he’ll be in that type of position you know to have a successful season.”

Travis Jones on a Potential Justin Madubuike Career Path

Jones is a third-round pick of the Ravens from 2022 and while he has been a contributor, he has not had a breakout season as of yet.

Baltimore Beatdown’s Joshua Reed covered the DL coach’s praise of Jones but also made an interesting comparison for the DT.

He wrote, “One current young player whose career arc to this point has been similar to Madubuike’s is 2022 third-rounder Travis Jones.”

Madubuike was entering his fourth season in 2023 and exploded in a way that many did not anticipate. He set career highs in tackles, sacks, and QB hits.

“While Jones didn’t double his sack total from his rookie year in 2023, he was still able to find more consistency and increased his impact and production as a pass rusher,” Reed explained.

Madubuike was also a third-round pick and similarly was slow out of the gate only putting up 3.0 sacks in his first two seasons.

Reed wrote, “Even though last year was Madubuike’s best and most productive season by far, his ascension to stardom didn’t just come out of nowhere. He had flashed dominant difference-making potential in each of his first three seasons and doubled his sack production every as well but consistency and being in a more limited role prevented him putting it all together earlier.”

The third-year player has shown similar flashes in his snaps during 2022 and 2023 and under the tutelage of Madubuike and a strong defensive staff he could also continue his ascension to stardom.

Jones’ Numbers Will Need to Increase in 2023

Jones only had 1.5 sacks in 2023 but saw his snaps go from 324 in 2022 to 453 in 2023.

Reed wrote, “He appeared in all 17 games and finished with 1.5 sacks and five quarterback hits after logging just a single sack and two quarterback hits as a rookie.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones finished with an overall grade of 68.1, which was 38 out of 130 interior defenders. The grade was improvement of his 62.5 in 2022.

“His displays of strength and power were incredibly dominant at times, all it took was one hand to send an opposing offensive lineman tumbling to the turf on his way to the quarterback, seemingly unimpeded,” Reed wrote.

Jones should see increased time next to Madubuike this season and will need to improve his counting numbers, but as long as he keeps opening up lanes and gaps for his fellow defenders, he will have a pivotal role for Baltimore.


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