When Jones was drafted in the sixth-round out of Michigan State last April, the Giants viewed him as an emergency inside linebacker. Well, the preseason proved to be quite an emergency in the linebacker corps.
Jonathan Goff was coming off his best season as a pro, racking up 80 tackles in 2010, and was the Giants clear starter at middle linebacker entering training camp. But an ACL tear during the preseason forced him to sit out the season. No problem, third-year player Clint Sintim will take over. Another ACL tear. Uh oh.
That forced the Giants to turn Jones' way. Despite a slew of big name veterans (including some former Giants) such as Lofa Tatupu, Chase Blackburn, Dhani Jones, Keith Bulluck and Kawika Mitchell available, the Giants stuck with Jones.
He started the first 11 games at middle linebacker, and wasn't spectacular, but did his job by not self-destructing.
The linebacker corps could easily have been a disaster had Jones struggled, since there were no other capable middle linebackers on the roster, but he held his own until Chase Blackburn was re-signed in December.
He certainly won't enter the 2012 season as the Giants' starter, but he got a lot of people's attention with his stability through the first 11 games of 2011.