Wednesday, June 25, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #61 Da'Mario Jones

Da'Mario Jones (image via Go Blue Wolverine)
Name: Da'Mario Jones
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 198 lbs.
High school: Westland (MI) John Glenn
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #10
Last year: I ranked Jones #65 and said he would be a backup wide receiver. He played most of the season on special teams.

I thought - and still think - that Jones was the best receiver in Michigan's 2013 class, and he played more than any of the other receivers (Csont'e York played in one game; Jaron Dukes redshirted). Recently, the freshman wideouts who make it on the field generally have had decent abilities and/or play with some regularity throughout their careers. That gives me some hope for Jones, who played regularly on special teams coverage and mostly did a good job. One of the most frustrating moments last year was when he lost track of a punt by UConn, only to have it bounce off his foot and be recovered by the Huskies. That play aside, he seemed like a capable athlete.

Going into the 2014 season, there will be a lot of jockeying for position as receivers will fight for the scraps left behind by Devin Funchess. Redshirt sophomore Jehu Chesson got a ton of playing experience last year, and classmate Amara Darboh was impressing people before his foot injury last summer. Freshman Freddy Canteen exploded onto the scene this spring, but Jones should be one of those guys who sees some snaps on offense to give a guy a breather or in garbage time. Canteen also said in the spring that Jones is one of the fastest players on the team, so he could surprise some teams with his speed if given a chance.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; 2 catches, 29 yards


  1. I am curious as to your opinion on who else besides D Funchess will get a lot of snaps at WR. Jehu Chesson got a lot of snaps as a second year player (redshirt freshman) but didn't really produce much. I am not sure if Chesson will make a qualitative jump in his performance in his third year (rs sophomore).

    1. I agree that there is an opportunity for someone to take some of Chesson's snaps in '14. Chesson to me looks like a good athlete and blocker, but he is not a natural pass catcher (ball skills, body control, in-flight adjustments, etc.) Some receivers do improve their ball skills over time (Breaston is an example), but a big jump is unusual.

      With Darboh coming off of an injury and all of these young guys being thrown in the mix, it is pretty wide open. I expect there will be more total WR snaps in '13 because Nussmeier seems to like the 3-WR formation more than Borges did.

  2. Based on the limited evidence we have, it does seem like Jones could at least be the 5th WR [behind Funchess, Darboh, Chesson, and Canteen, maybe Norfleet too]. A 5th WR typically plays a decent amount, especially for an OC that favors 3-WR sets. These type of guys often play in hurry-up offense situations that decide games. [e.g., Laterryl Savoy played a prominent role in the final drive in the '09 ND game].

    I think Jones should be significantly higher than York. You could argue Jones hasn't separated from other choices like Dukes, York, Harris, Ways, Dever but I agree with you that he seems like the best of this next tier group, and the fact that he played right away says something.

    ....A wildcard here is Bunting, who you haven't included yet in the countdown. He could be used in a WR role as well.

    1. I don't really see Bunting being used in a wide receiver role, but I do believe he will play.

  3. Magnus, I don't think I understand your ranking system. It's based on predicted impact in 2014, right? How then can the predicted backup left tackle be ranked behind a bunch of guys predicted to redshirt (i.e., have zero impact in 2014)?

    1. The answer to your first question is "yes."

      The answer to your second question is "he's not." I have yet to get to the second string left tackle.