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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: JJ Jones III, TE, New Mexico State

JJ Jones III the versatile tight end of New Mexico State recently sat down with Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
JJ Jones III the versatile tight end of New Mexico State recently sat down with Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: JJ Jones III
  • Position: TE
  • College: Dartmouth College transfer to New Mexico State
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 230 lbs
  • Twitter: @jj_jonessss
  • Instagram: jj.jonessss

What makes you a top prospect at your position  in the 2023 NFL Draft

I’m a top prospect at TE because of my versatility and ability to accomplish many roles at TE. I can split out wide, run routes, perimeter block, put my hand in the dirt, line up in the H back position, the back field, and many other spots that I earned years of experience while playing on a 2x Ivy League Championship Team.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

Football has always been in my blood and memories. My grandpa played at UTEP and for the Pittsburgh Steelers and my father played at New Mexico State, where I’m transferring. It all began when I was able to start holding a football and then I started playing in a youth league when I was 5 and it took off from there. 

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

I don’t care how many stars/awards you have, how much weight you can lift, how big you are. Until we go head to head, I’m going in hungry and willing to do whatever it takes to win. My film and play style represents that. 

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be? 

I would donate to the Autism Speaks foundation to fund research into helping those with autism and understand it’s inner workings more. This is important to me because my brother was diagnosed from a young age with fragile x and autism, so to give to a foundation that could help him and others like him would be very fulfilling. 

What is the best advice you have ever received? 

On my team at Dartmouth we had a saying “find a way, make a way.” A lot of times in life there isn’t a clear solution to some problems or even one at all, so some may think to quit. Find a way, make a way represents a positive, but assertive way to keep thinking of solutions while putting them into action. Your mind is a powerful tool and if you can train it to keep looking for solutions or a way out rather than excuses, it will prepare you for the toughest storms life has to offer. 

Who was your childhood hero? 

My childhood hero was my grandmother on my dad’s side. She was the symbol of strength and perseverance through ultimate hardship. Being Navajo (Diné) she endured living on the reservation while also being forced to attend boarding school as a child. Hearing some of the stories of the treatment she received was eye opening and inspiring given that she experienced that part of history, while still managing to raise my dad and his siblings and purchase her own home. I can’t waste the sacrifices she made for our family. 

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school? 

At my previous school, Dartmouth, the most underrated teammate in our locker room was Jared Gerbino. Although he deserved recognition in the Ivy League for his play, many outside of the Ivy League did not recognize his skill and future potential. At 6’4” 240 lbs he was a scary sight to see running the ball as he easily bounced off the defense at quarterback. I’m glad he was on our team because he was a dude. 

What is your biggest pet peeve? 

My biggest pet peeve would have to be lack of accountability. The ability to learn to say “you’re right” and “I’m wrong” for whatever the reason may be leads you to the truth of the problem, allowing you to find a way, and make a way as soon as possible.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome? 

The hardest moment in my life was not necessarily a moment, but a gradual series of events that have happened within the last couple years. I’ve lost a few important people in my life the last few years for multiple reasons which has taught me something very valuable. Comfort and belief in myself. At the end of the day all you have is yourself and the problems you face may bring supporters or those to help, but it is you and only you who has to be prepared and the one to go through it. 

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

Dartmouth college not only offers D1 athletic competition, but some of the best academic studies in the world. However the best part about Dartmouth is the community among the students, small town, and the alumni network. 

Given the small size of the school, there is a tight connection to it and a “shared Dartmouth experience” that a student in the class of 2022 can relate to with a member in the class of 1972. 

What is your favorite snack food? 

My go to is always chips and salsa. Hint of lime chips are a major upgrade. 

What is the best part of football? 

There is no other sport similar to going to war like football. Lined up side by side with your brothers going head to head against your opponent as hard as you possibly can. If you don’t give your all, you risk yourself and your teammates. 

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say? 

I’m JJ Jones and I’m patiently hungry and awaiting my opportunity, but I’ve been ready to create my own because I’m going to grind and scrap one way or another. 

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be? 

My play style resembles George Kittle. I love the modern pass catching abilities of the NFL TE, but Kittle is his own breed. He gets in the mess and isn’t afraid to scrap which I try to embody every play. 

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why? 

I would choose Alexander the Great, Jocko Willink, and Nikola Tesla. The first two are representative of past and present warriors who have learned how to conduct themselves as men through battle and hardship. While, Nikola Tesla is a 19th century inventor who offers a lot of valuable knowledge and life lessons he’s learned in academia and being responsible for most modern technology that we use. These three figures embody the power in combining physical and mental strength. 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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