Pitt defensive end Patrick Jones II was honored as an All-American for the second time this offseason, as the Associated Press included him on its second team on Monday. Previously, Jones was honored by CBS, but he was also overlooked by ESPN and PFF.
This season, Jones set new career highs, with nine sacks and 13 tackles for losses in 11 games. And in addition to leading the team in sacks, Jones ranks fifth in the nation in total sacks and second among Power Five players.
Over the last two seasons, Jones has been a constant threat to opposing quarterbacks. In 2019, he paired up with Jaylen Twyman and helped Pitt earn a reputation for its fierce defense, as the two combined for 19 sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses in 13 games. In 2020, Jones and Rashad Weaver teamed up to accrue 16.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for losses in just 11 games, with Weaver sitting out two.
Despite playing second fiddle to Weaver in the eyes of All-America voters, with Weaver now a first-teamer for AP, CBS, ESPN and PFF, Jones appears to have a brighter future in the upcoming NFL draft — at least at the moment. Currently, ESPN ranks the 6’5”, 260-pound edge rusher as the No. 47 overall prospect and No. 6 at his position, and CBS places him at No. 31 overall and No. 2 among defensive ends. ESPN ranks Weaver No. 83 overall and No. 10 among edge rushers, while CBS has not ranked Weaver among its top 150 prospects.
All of that is subject to change, of course, and with Jones and Weaver taking part in the Senior Bowl next month, there could be some shuffling in the pre-draft rankings. But for now, the two Pitt products have plenty to be optimistic about as they continue to rack up postseason honors ahead of the NFL draft.