2017 NFL DRAFT

Zay Jones, WR

School: East Carolina  |  Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Austin, TX
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 201 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
6262

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.45--15 36 1/2-4.016.79
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.45--15 36 1/211'1"4.016.79

Player Overview

Before he became the FBS all-time leader in receptions, Isaiah "Zay" Jones didn't receive much attention from FBS-level programs out of high school, but his father, NFL veteran Robert Jones and member of the East Carolina Hall of Fame, sent his tape to ECU and they offered his son a scholarship (one of only two FBS offers). He saw immediate action as a true freshman and posted 62 receptions for 604 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. As a sophomore in 2014, Jones against finished second on the team in receiving with 81 catches for 830 yards and five scores. With Justin Hardy off to the NFL, Jones stepped into the Pirates' No. 1 receiver role and led the team with 98 catches for 1,099 yards and five touchdowns, earning Second Team All-AAC honors. He had a record-breaking senior season in 2016 with a FBS-best 158 receptions for 1,746 yards (both school records) and finished with eight touchdowns, earning All-AAC First Team honors.

A high volume target for the Pirates, Jones lined up all over the formation, spending time at all five wide receiver positions in the ECU offense, and became only the 19th player in FBS history to eclipse the 4,000-yard career receiving mark. He did most of his work near the line of scrimmage feasted on zone coverage, but struggled to consistently separate in man coverage and wasn't a deep threat - not a home run hitter, but plenty of singles and doubles on his game film.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Sound route runner -- doesn't have elite start/stop quickness, but works hard to sell and square off patterns. Evades at the line of scrimmage and accurately reads coverages to find open space. Always working to get open with a high football IQ. Reliable pass-catcher, using his hands to attack the football. Steadfast blocker and not shy about throwing his body around. Senior captain and well-respected within the program. Elite production with the FBS-record for receptions in a career (399) and single season (158) - also holds the ECU and AAC record for single season receiving yards (1,746). Grew up around the game and has NFL bloodlines - father (Robert) played linebacker for 10 seasons in the NFL (1992-2001), going to one Pro Bowl and winning three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys; older brother (Cayleb) is a wide receiver currently with the Minnesota Vikings; uncle (Jeff Blake) played quarterback for 14 seasons in the NFL.

WEAKNESSES: Average athletic and physical traits with ordinary build and strength for the position. Adequate speed, but lacks separation quickness to blow past NFL cornerbacks in man coverage and wasn't a consistent deep threat in college, averaging only 10.7 yards per catch (158 catches in 2016, but only four (2.5%) were 35+ yards). Not elusive after the catch and lacks an explosive top gear. Only an average leaper and lacks the body strength to consistently win 50-50 balls. Detailed in his routes, but doesn't always reach proper depth and needs to be more aware of the sticks. Will have his share of focus drops, running before securing. Needs to improve his body position and technique as a blocker. Production inflated by pass-happy offense that often featured five-wide, allowing for off-coverage and rarely seeing coverages rolled to his side of the field.

--Dane Brugler (1/18/17)

 
 
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