Chandler Jones is Elite; Why is He So Underrated?

Chandler Jones had 19 sacks last year, yet nobody seems to care. In fact, Jones averages more sacks per 16 games than guys like Khalil Mack, Aaron Donald, and Von Miller. Those guys are all elite sack guys, so why is Chandler Jones never mentioned in the top tier of defensive talent?

Although Jones is out for the rest of the season, Cardinals fans know that Jones is nothing short of a game wrecker. With no less than 11 sacks in the past five years, Jones has proved he can be a dominant centerpiece to Arizona’s defense. In 2017, Jones led the NFL in sacks with 17 of them en route to being named a Pro Bowler and a First Team All Pro member.

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Yet even with 96 career sacks and 27 career forced fumbles, Jones is only a three time Pro Bowler and two time First Team All Pro member. Although he did make the 2010s All Decade Team, Jones deserves to be spoken of in the elite tier of defensive players. In my eyes, Jones has shown for the better part of a decade that he’s more talented than some of the best defensive talent of his generation.

A little while ago I wrote an article about how Cameron Jordan has been severely underrated throughout his career. Yet, Jones has had arguably a better career and has less to show for it. Compared to Jordan, Jones has been to two less Pro Bowls and still has nine more career sacks. To add to that, Jones has averaged in his career just shy of 3.5 sacks more per 16 games than Jordan has. Although the Saints pass rusher hasn’t missed a game in his first nine seasons, which is a very impressive feat, the truth is that Chandler Jones simply produces more than Jordan when on the field.

Therefore, with Jones consistently putting up big sack numbers, as well as constantly being a force as a pass rusher and run stopper I think it’s crazy that he’s not regarded as one of the NFL’s best defenders. Although he might not have the same name recognition as guys like Von Miller or Khalil Mack because he plays in Arizona, the truth is that he’s been putting up the numbers that cement a player as elite. And if Arizona has any hope of being a dominant defensive team in the future with Isaiah Simmons, Patrick Peterson, and Budda Baker, expect for Jones to perhaps have the biggest role in turning Arizona into a defensive powerhouse.

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