KUSA – After delivering one of the most impressive offseason efforts among Broncos rookies, defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones was officially rewarded Tuesday with a four-year, $4.159 million contract that includes a $1,066,400 million signing bonus.
Jones was the Broncos’ third-round selection. He came from Ohio State, where the pressure to succeed perhaps better trained him for the NFL than the team’s other rookies.
"Ohio State, they run things in a manner where they put you in high-stress situations all the time and you become adapted to it," Jones said in a sit-down interview with 9News on April 26, the day after he was drafted by the Broncos. “It’s almost weird not to be stressed out at Ohio State."
Jones, 22, was a late-bloomer for Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes. Redshirted as a freshman, Jones had zero and 1.0 sack in his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons.
He came on with 8.5 sacks and 13.0 tackles for loss as a redshirt junior last year.
"I think just getting the opportunity to play more because I rotated a lot my first couple years – a lot to where I’m playing one play and I’m coming out,’’ Jones said. “I started losing confidence in myself because I started to question whether the coach actually believed in me. And this (past) year I got to become more of a leader and was able to hone in on playing a significant amount of time and I took advantage of it."
New Broncos’ head coach Vic Fangio hopes Jones can contribute quickly as an inside pass-rush specialist in nickel situations. By all accounts, Jones was impressive as rookies go during the Broncos’ OTAs and minicamp sessions.
"I don’t want to label myself as a pass-rushing specialist,’" Jones said. “I think I’m so good at pass rushing my run game gets overlooked. I played most of my career as a run-down player first before I became a pass-down player.
"Of course, there’s plays on film where I’ve done bad in the run game – there’s plays on film where I did bad in the pass game too. I just want to hold on with everything when I get out there."