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Falcons coach: Deion Jones can be 'best middle linebacker in NFL' 

Jeff Ulbrich had some very high praise for Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Deion Jones on Tuesday afternoon.

When Ulbrich was asked how Jones can improve in his fifth season, the Atlanta Falcons' assistant head coach and linebackers coach said Jones has the potential to be the best at his position.


And he wholeheartedly believes it.

"Deion is a guy that I see has the potential to be the best middle linebacker in the NFL," Ulbrich said. "I really do."

Jones, 25, is coming off a season in which he amassed 110 tackles – the third time in his career he's recorded 100-plus tackles in a season – four quarterback hits and one interception.

Since being drafted in the second round out of LSU, Jones has been an impact starter for the Falcons.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff drafted Jones in hopes his speed and athleticism would be an asset to the entire defense as the game continues to feature more one-on-one matchups.

Jones often draws the responsibility of defending opponents' running backs and his speed is what allows him to be successful in doing that.

"In this game that we play today, it's all about matchups and athleticism, space and a lot of grass," Ulbrich said. "He's custom made for that because he's got so much speed and athleticism."

Jones' impact in Atlanta's defense was particularly noted when he missed majority of the 2018 season with a foot injury. The Falcons struggled to replicate his presence on the field.

In addition to his duties in the run game, Jones has been Atlanta's best playmaker on defense over the last three years. Jones has recorded nine interceptions in four seasons.

Creating turnovers is something Quinn wants his defensive players to emphasize and Jones is one of the best in the league in that area. In order for the Falcons to get back to the postseason in 2020, they'll need Jones to take his game to another level.

Ulbirch and Dimitroff believe Jones can continue to improve and impact the Falcons' defense in more ways.

"At the same time, there are parts of his game that he'd acknowledge that he can take to the next level," Ulbrich said. "I'm not going to say that he has huge glaring weaknesses, because I don't think that's the case, but I think that there is another place he can go in areas of his game that aren't his strengths."

Jones is someone the Falcons believe can be a "game-wrecker" and with four years under his belt, he'll be one of the players who enters the upcoming season with high expectations.

Before heading into the 2020 NFL year, we are going to look back at the best images from players on the active roster. Take a look at the best of linebacker Deion Jones

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