Ernest Jones drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Rams

University of South Carolina junior linebacker Ernest Jones was selected by the Los Angeles Rams with the 40th pick in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday night. He was the 103rd pick overall in the 2021 draft.

At South Carolina’s Pro Day, the Waycross, Ga. native measured in at 6-1 1/2 and 230 pounds. He posted a 38 1/2-inch vertical leap, broad jumped 10-6 and bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times while running a 4.69 hand-held timed 40-yard dash.

Jones becomes the second Gamecock selected so far in the 2021 NFL Draft, joining cornerback Jaycee Horn who was selected No. 8 overall in the first round by the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. He’s the 36th South Carolina player picked in the draft since 2010 and the 206th overall in program history. Jones is the highest Gamecock linebacker drafted since John Abraham was selected with the 13th overall pick in the first round by the New York Jets in 2000.

Here is Jones’s bio:

Junior middle linebacker who was the vocal leader of the defense… named one of four permanent team captains… earned fourth-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele… started each of the first nine games, missing the final contest with an ankle injury… led the team in tackles for the second-straight year with 86 stops… averaged 9.6 tackles per game, sixth in the SEC… had four games with at least 11 tackles during the season… logged 11 stops in the season opener against Tennessee… credited with 13 stops, including a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss in the win at Vanderbilt… also had his lone sack of the season against the Commodores… notched a career-best 19 tackles at LSU… it was the most tackles in a game by a Gamecock since Roy Hart had 19 stops at Nebraska in 1987… nearly matched that total with 18 tackles at Ole Miss… had two of the top 17 single-game tackles total recorded at the FBS level in 2020… one of 16 semifinalists for the Butkus Award… recorded 199 tackles in just 26 games over the past three seasons, including 21 starts… had 10.5 tackles for loss with a pair of sacks… credited with two interceptions, five pass breakups, six quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries… invited to the NFL Combine.

MIKE linebacker who started all 12 games, making a team-high 97 tackles, 20 more than anyone else on the squad… ranked fourth in the SEC with 8.1 tackles per game… had 5.5 tackles for loss, a quarterback sack, two interceptions, five pass breakups, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble… registered a team-high 12 tackles, along with a pair of pass breakups in the opener against North Carolina… credited with nine tackles including 2.0 tackles for loss against Alabama… had nine stops at Missouri… had seven tackles and an interception versus Kentucky, earning SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors by… logged a team-high 12 tackles with three pass breakups at Georgia… posted 10 stops and a pick against App State… had a career-high 13 stops with a forced fumble at Texas A&M… named the Most Improved Player in the spring for special teams.

True freshman who was an early enrollee, but did not participate in spring drills while recovering from a fracture in his back… played in five games… credited with 16 tackles including 10 solo stops… made his first tackle in his debut against Coastal Carolina… led the Gamecocks with five tackles and forced a fumble versus Chattanooga… matched his season high with five tackles at Clemson… notched his first-career fumble recovery against Akron.

Graduated from Ware County High School in Georgia in December 2017… logged 112 total tackles, including 70 solo stops and 6.0 tackles for loss as a senior for the Gators… also accounted for two sacks, three forced fumbles and five QB hurries in his final campaign… was a first-team all-state Class AAAAA selection… the Gators posted a 5-6 record in his senior season… coached by Franklin Stephens… was the 59th-ranked outside linebacker prospect in the country and 84th-best overall prospect in Georgia, according to 247’s national composite rankings… named to the PrepStar All-Southeast Region team.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports, USC Gamecocks