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"I don’t expect anything less": Dre'Mont Jones has his sights sets on a lofty goal this year

Zac Stevens Avatar
June 2, 2021

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Dre’Mont Jones has racked up an impressive 10 sacks his first two years in the NFL.

He expect to have that many this year.

“I think 10 sacks is very attainable,” the third-year defense lineman said on Wednesday during the second week of Broncos’ OTAs. “It’s very attainable. I don’t expect anything less from myself. That’s a goal of mine I can reach. I’m going to try and reach it.”

As a 6-foot-3, 281-pound defensive end, racking up sacks isn’t as easy for a defensive lineman like Jones as it is for outside linebackers such as Bradley Chubb or Von Miller where 10 sacks is the expectation.

In fact, if Jones were to hit double-digit sacks in 2021, he would be the first Bronco interior defensive lineman to achieve the difficult feat since Trevor Pryce in 2000 when he had 12 sacks. Pryce, of course, is one of the greatest defensive lineman in the organization’s history.

“You know, guys like Chris Jones and Grady Jarrett and Cameron Heyward and Aaron Donald made it cool to be inside guys and get 10 sacks,” Jones said, pointing to more recent examples of dominant defensive lineman.

Last year, Aaron Donald, Stephon Tuitt and Leonard Williams were the only three defensive lineman in the NFL to rack up 10 or more sacks. The 24-year old said he studies the film of the best defensive lineman to take pieces of what they do and apply it to his athletic ability and game. But he can’t take every move from their bag as “some of the things they do are a little bit too freaky,” he said with a grin.

It’s not crazy talk that Jones could top 10 sacks in 2021 — he’s flashed that talent on multiple occasions his two years in the NFL.

As a rookie, Dre’Mont was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after racking up 2.5 sacks and three quarterback hits in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions. Last year, Jones had 3.5 sacks in the final four games of the season. That’s a pace of nearly 15 sacks in a 17-game season.

He credits his hot finish in 2020 to getting into a groove, adding “nothing really changed” in his game down the stretch.

“It’s more about getting into a rhythm. Football and basketball go hand-in-hand where you got to get in a rhythm and get a feel for the game,” Jones explained. “The more I was able to play toward the end, the more I felt comfortable being out there and just trying different pass-rush moves and being okay with it.”

During the offseason, the former third-round pick “became more of a man,” as he said with a laugh, by really honing into the weight room and growing on the “little” aspects of his game that he needed to improve.

Another reason why it’s not inconceivable for Dre’Mont to have a breakout year in 2021 is because of the talent he’s surrounded by on Denver’s defense. Surrounding Jones at the line of scrimmage will be Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Shelby Harris and Mike Purcell. Not bad company for Jones to have.

Harris and Purcell both received extensions within the last year.

“Shelby being very disruptive by himself can open up anyones game,” Jones said about how Harris’ presence on the defensive line will help him. “Having him back was huge for me, especially, I’m a big person on chemistry and learning how you are on the field together and I think we found that group together.”

The other two who will be by Jones at the line of scrimmage, Von and Chubb are, well, Von and Chubb. Along with being top-five picks, the two have nine Pro Bowls, seven All-Pros and a Super Bowl MVP.

“Because of their name and what they’ve done, they’ll make it really easy for me to get those opportunities to get one-on-ones on those guards and centers when my time comes to be able to win,” Jones stated about Denver’s outside linebackers. “The focus is definitely going to be on them. That’s obvious. Them being out there together, a lot of money to be made.”

After this season, Jones will be eligible for a contract extension for the Broncos. He’s well aware what type of money he would be able to command with a 10-sack season.

Malik Jackson had 5.5 sacks and six sacks in his two best years with the Broncos. He turned that into $90 million on a six-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In Shelby’s two best seasons with Denver he also racked up 5.5 sacks and six sacks. That cashed to the tune of a three year, $27 million contract.

Dominant pass-rushing defensive lineman are not easy to come by in the NFL. Dre’Mont Jones expects to be added to the short list in 2021.


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