Ronald Jones II NFL Draft Preview: Stock, Mock Drafts and Projections

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

USC running back Ronald Jones II put his name among Trojan greats with his electric rushing. Now it’s time for him to conquer the 2018 NFL Draft.

Ronald Jones II was one of the most highly-touted players from USC’s 2015 recruiting class and he lived up to every bit of the hype.

After breaking Charles White’s freshman rushing record, the Texas Tesla rose up the Trojan rushing charts, landing fifth all-time with 3,619 yards. He also showed a nose for the endzone, scoring in 13 consecutive games and 19 of his final 20 as a Trojan.

Will he be able to continue USC’s Running Back U legacy in the NFL?

Scout’s Take

“Jones is a classic slasher with the wiggle and explosiveness to elude open-field tacklers and then burst to chunks of yardage…He should test well at the Combine, but there will still be teams concerned with how many carries he can handle and how that affects his draft value. He’s a big play talent with a chance to thrive at a high level wherever he lands.”— Lance Zierlein,

“Jones could be a featured runner for an offense seeking his juice and burst and could expand his receiving duties, provided they have some kind of change-up back to pair with Jones and manage his workload smartly.”— Eric Edholm, Pro Football Weekly

More from Reign of Troy

“He has outstanding initial burst and top-end speed that is a notch below elite (a slightly slower Jamaal Charles). He’s not overpowering, but breaks a lot of arm tackles because of his burst and good contact balance. More physical in 2017, he hits the hole hard but has inconsistent vision and patience and a tendency to bounce wide too often.”—


When Jones II declared for the NFL Draft, the big question was whether or not he could raise his draft stock into the first round.

Mock drafts seem to agree on two things: 1) He will be off the board by the second round. 2) He probably won’t make it past the Colts at pick No. 36.

That’s how Mel Kiper sees it in his three-round mock draft and he’s not alone. Walter Cherepinsky of Walter Football also projects Jones II to Indianapolis in Round 2.

At least one report, from Optimum Scouting’s Eric Galko, suggests the Colts could even be the destination in in the first round. Galko predicts Indianapolis will move up to grab Jones II if they miss out on Saquan Barkley. The Browns could also be at play, making Jones II’s Thursday all the more intriguing.

There are worse places to land than in an offense with Andrew Luck, depending on his health of course. Meanwhile, the Cleveland connection could be eye-catching for USC fans if the Browns use their No. 1 overall pick on Sam Darnold.

Whatever shape his new home takes, Jones II appears to be the most well-equipped Trojan back to enter the NFL in decades. His career will be one to watch.