Wed, 16 Jun 2021

5 Things to Know About New Vikings DE Patrick Jones II

Minnesota Vikings
08 May 2021, 21:37 GMT+10

Lindsey Young

Andre Patterson only had to wait until Day 2 to get a pass rusher.

The Vikings drafted Pittsburgh's Patrick Jones II with the 90th overall pick Friday, bolstering Minnesota's defensive line room.

Jones started all 11 games for Pittsburgh at defensive end in 2020. He racked up 44 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks and a fumble recovery.

His sacks total led the ACC and ranked fifth in the nation, and his 22 career sacks rank 12th all-time in program history.

Here are five things to know about Minnesota's new defensive end:

1. International upbringing

Jones was born in Yokosuka, Japan, in 1998, on a U.S. Military base. At age 3, his father was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, where the family stayed for two years before another three-year international stint, this time in Naples, Italy.

Then, back to Japan, where they stayed until December 2012.

John McGonigal of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about Jones' discovery of football overseas:

Since returning to Japan, Jones knew he wanted to test out football. His cousins played stateside, and he grew bored of standing in the outfield, waiting for something to happen. He attended high school football games in Misawa when he was in elementary school - yes, Friday night lights are a thing over in Japan, too. Seeing the action up close, he craved it. "I wanted to go hit people," Jones said frankly.

2. Back with Brian O'Neill

Jones teamed at Pittsburgh with Vikings right tackle Brian O'Neill when Jones was a freshman.

During his videoconference call with Twin Cities media members, he recalled "battling" O'Neill at practice and now looks forward to reuniting in the Vikings locker room.

O'Neill and Jones connected over FaceTime after the defensive end was drafted.

3. Praise from the head coach

Following his selection on Day 2 of the draft, Panthers Head Coach Pat Narduzzi made the following statement about the player Minnesota is getting:

"[Vikings Head Coach Mike] Zimmer and the Vikings are going to absolutely love Patrick Jones. He's a relentless competitor who constantly strives to improve. There's a reason why Patrick was a consensus All-American for us this past year. He absolutely disrupts his opponent. And we're thrilled he will be reunited with a fellow Pitt man in Brian O'Neill."

4. High school standout

Jones attended high school stateside, going to Grassfield in Chesapeake, Virginia.

He played under Head Coach Martin Asprey and as a senior was ratted the No. 1 defensive end in Virginia by Scout.com. That season, he recorded 83 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, earning First-Team Group 6A All-State honors.

5. Earned his degree

Jones earned his bachelor's degree in administration of justice at Pittsburgh and went on to pursue a second major in social sciences.

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