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Before the draft, Head Coach John Harbaugh asked Art Jones whether he would be disappointed if the Ravens selected his younger brother, Chandler Jones.
“Absolutely not, unless the moved him to defensive end and there’s a conflict of interest,” Art said with a laugh.
Joking aside, Art was very much hoping his brother would land in purple and black. Instead, he landed with a budding rival.
With the 21st-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots – the team that beat Art and the Ravens inthe AFC championship – traded up to snag Chandler.
“I was just happy to hear him go so high,” Art said. “Then I was like, ‘Wait, what team again?’ You could see me in the background on T.V. booing.”
Almost instantly, a new competition was born between the brothers.
“I straight told him, ‘Week 3, get ready to get your butt kicked,’” Art said. “He didn’t say anything. He just smiled.”
Chandler has been following Art, the oldest of the three Jones brothers, for much of their life. When Art started wrestling, Chandler followed. When Art started playing football, Chandler did too.
The two played together for one year at Syracuse before Art was drafted in the fifth round in 2009.
Art in many ways paved the path for Chandler, and served ascheat sheet throughout the scouting process. He told him what questions teams would be asking, what to expect from the workouts, etc.
After the draft, Chandler thanked Art. But now it’s largely up to him to see if he will make the most of his potential.
While other players in the draft had bigger stats than Jones, he is a 6-foot-5, 265-pounder with loads of athletic upside.
“He’s kind of like a baby horse,” Art said. “When they’re first born, they have all the power and potential in the world, but just don’t know themselves yet. I think he’s just now starting to grow into his body and fill out and understand the game of football.”
Art said Chandler could one day reach the level of Pro Bowl pass rushers such as Chicago’s Julius Peppers or Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware.
The middle of the Jones brothers, Jon, is the Ultimate Fighting Championship Light Heavyweight Champion. Art helped him train for his latest title fight this spring in Albequerque.
Meanwhile, Art is trying to become a starter on the Ravens’ defensive line. He has a chance at the end position this year with the departure of Cory Redding to Indianapolis.
“We’re all going up right now, so I’m just happy,” Art said. “It’s just that good family rivalry that keeps us all hungry and wanting to strive for more.”