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Denver's Dre'Mont Jones a man among the trenches

Broncos' third-year defensive lineman is coming off a strong finish in 2020.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Dre’Mont Jones looked more intense as he faced the Zoom camera.

His handsome, serious face was supported by a tighter haircut on top and a thicker neck at its base. The Broncos’ defensive lineman coming off somewhat of a breakout year in 2020, Jones at first glance showed he had treated this offseason as serious business.

“I became more of a man,’’ Jones said, laughing at his proclamation. “I aged a little bit. I’m 24 now and I really honed into the weight room with my trainer, Jackson. We really went hard, and I’ll continue the same thing once I get back to Ohio. Growing on the little things that I need to grow on.”

A third-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2019, Jones’ biggest challenge as a rookie was keeping weight on. He’s 285 pounds now, as he was last year when he noticeably improved despite missing three games with an early season knee injury. He returned to have 6.5 sacks with two pass deflections in his final 11 games, and was considerably more stout against the run.

“Football and basketball go hand-in-hand when you have to get in rhythm and get a feel for the game,’’ Jones said. “The more I was able to play towards the end, the more I felt comfortable being out there and trying different pass-rush moves and being OK with it.”

Jones’ added season of maturity is evident in other ways. He was asked if he had paid attention to the QB competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater during OTAs. A rookie might have weighed in. A third-year player knows to stay in his lane.

“I don’t give a (bleep),’’ Jones said. “Whoever is the quarterback, is the quarterback. I wish the best for Teddy and I wish the best for Drew.’’

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