What will Brandon Jones bring to the Denver Broncos?

Henry Chisholm Avatar
March 12, 2024

The Denver Broncos signed safety Brandon Jones, 25, on Monday to a three-year deal worth $20 million, with $12.5 million guaranteed. He can earn another $2.5 million if he hits all of his incentives.

The move comes a few days after the Broncos released four-time All-pro safety Justin Simmons to save $14.5 million in salary cap space. Simmons was the longest-tenured Bronco, joining the team as a third-round draft pick in 2016.

On Sunday, the Broncos re-signed safety PJ Locke, 27, who started eight games in 2023, the first eight starts of his career.

Caden Sterns, 24, a fifth-round pick in 2021, JL Skinner, 22, a sixth-round pick last season, and Delarrin Turner-Yell, 24, a fifth-round pick in 2022, round out the Broncos likely safety rotation.

Jones, 25, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2020. He played collegiately at Texas where he was a teammate of Sterns and Locke. All three played for the 2018 Longhorns.

Jones started for the Dolphins in 2021 and 2022, but his 2022 campaign was cut short by a torn ACL. He returned in 2023, but served as the third safety behind DeShon Elliott and Jevon Holland. He started six regular-season games because of injuries to the two starters. He also started the Dolphins’ Wild Card loss to the Chiefs because of Holland’s injury.

We’re going to dig into the tape from that game.

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Brandon Jones vs. Travis Kelce

We’re starting with the fun stuff.

Brandon Jones lined up in man coverage against Travis Kelce often in this game.

On this red zone play, Jones communicates a switch in assignments because of Kansas City’s motion. Then he erases Kelce’s drag route.

(Jones is No. 29, and he’s wearing long white sleeves. Remember this.)

This time, Miami is blitzing. A linebacker lines up across from Kelce. But the linebacker crashes into the backfield, leaving Jones in man coverage behind him.

The Chiefs realize what is happening and Kelce curls up underneath before Jones can get to him.

In Vic Fangio’s defense, disguise is everything. The Dolphins want their defense to look as similar as possible on every play. That’s why Jones didn’t take away the space between himself and Kelce before the snap.

Later on, the Dolphins show a two-high safety look, their typical starting point. Just before the snap, Jones creeps forward to eliminate Kelce’s space so Mahomes can’t rip a ball to him. Jones funnels Kelce toward his help, the linebacker playing a zone in the middle of the field.

Later on, Jones takes up man coverage against Kelce near the end zone. He’s patient, keeping his heels on the goal line, and waits for Kelce to make his break. Jones smothers him. It’s teach tape.

In the final clip, Jones fights through traffic to smother Kelce one more time.

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