Falcons to conduct private workout with LSU's Deion Jones

LSU's Deion Jones (45) could provide the Falcons with the speed they covet at linebacker. AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

The Atlanta Falcons, seeking more speed at linebacker, have a private workout scheduled with draft prospect Deion Jones from LSU on Thursday.

The 6-foot-1-inch, 221-pound Jones is fresh off running a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at LSU's Pro Day, faster than the 4.59 he posted at the NFL combine. He started generating interest from the Falcons during the Senior Bowl.

"Definitely excited," Jones said about the upcoming workout.

Jones, projected as a late second or early third-round pick, also posted a 35 1/2 inch vertical jump and did 18 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press during his Pro Day.

LSU coach Les Miles offered high praise after Jones' blazing 40 time.

"Not a lot of linebackers in history will run like that," Miles said. "That guy may be the fastest linebacker that I personally have been around that had any size to him at all. He’s absolutely the first. That fits into the NFL game as a guy that can move and make plays and has ball skills. He’s going to fit right into the NFL game."

Jones said he has a number of workouts upcoming.

"I just want to show them how hard I work and that I can get after it," Jones said.

The New Orleans native said during the Senior Bowl that his father, a diehard Saints fan, might not like him going to the Falcons. Maybe those thoughts have changed considering the Falcons' interest.

"He'll get over it," Jones said. "He won't have a choice."

Last season at LSU, Jones had a team-leading 100 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for losses, five sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.

It's no secret the Falcons need help at linebacker, particularly at the weak-side spot following the release of injury-prone Justin Durant. They pursued both Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency only to see both sign with the Bears. They re-signed former first-round draft pick Sean Weatherspoon to a one-year deal with no guaranteed money in order for him to prove himself. The only other inside linebacker in the mix is starting middle linebacker and leading tackler Paul Worrilow, who signed his one-year, $2.553 million restricted free agent tender Wednesday.

There is a strong possibility the Falcons could target a speedy linebacker such as Ohio State's Darron Lee with the 17th overall pick in the draft. It wouldn't be a surprise to see them follow up with another linebacker such as Jones after that, considering the need at the position.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has emphasized the need for speed since the beginning of the offseason.