DENVER — Dre'Mont Jones is no longer too young, too injured, too miscast.
At 25 years old in his fourth season, the defensive end is blooming before the Broncos' eyes, an ideal fit for one of the NFL's top units. The former Ohio State standout delivered his best performance of the season in the 21-17 win over the Jaguars, posting seven tackles, three for a loss, and one tea-sipping sack.
The Broncos' snapped a four-game losing skid, keeping their season dangling on the edge entering the bye week. Denver played complementary football for the first time this season.
"Yeah, man, when offense and defense comes hand-in-hand like that, you're expected to win games like that. A lot of those situations we can get our quarterback out there to run it down and come back in the fourth quarter and do his thing," Jones said. "Today was huge for that. That losing streak, like many of our fans probably, was getting on my nerves, too, so it was huge to win this game and then take a little break."
The defensive end leads the Broncos with 5.5 sacks, tied with Bradley Chubb, who was shipped to the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday for a first and fourth-round picks and running back Chase Edmonds. The trade hit Jones hard as he tweeted, "I understand 'it's a business.' We ALL get it,' We get asked to buy in and care about the organization we work/play for no matter the outcome of our situations. And this one hurts my heart like no other. Game day won't feel the same without my G (Chubb)."
General manager George Paton insisted expectations remain the same without Chubb, though clearly the Broncos are not a better team this season without him. The picks can help reconstruct a roster this offseason that needs help on the offensive line. Several factors conspired to make Chubb expendable. The Broncos needed draft capital, they like their outside linebacker depth with Baron Browning, who could return from a hip flexor injury vs. the Titans, Nik Bonitto and Jonathan Cooper and paid free agent Randy Gregory — he will not return vs. Titans because of knee surgery — in March and want to allocate their money elsewhere.
Jones will be a free agent at season's end. Paton aims to keep him in the fold, meaning an in-season contract remains possible.
“We do (want to keep him). You saw how he played. I believe he's going to be the defensive player of the week, if I'm not mistaken," Paton said. "He is one of our core players, and we want him on here a long time."
This represents Jones' second Player of the Week honors. He claimed the award in Week 16 of the 2019 season. Jones joins Greg Kragen as the only Broncos defensive lineman to win the award two times.