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Byron Jones, CB

School: Connecticut  |  Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: New Britain, CT
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 199 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.43--- 44 1/212'3"3.946.78

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Player Overview

Jones is literally leaping up draft boards after he provided the highlight of the final workouts at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis with a standing broad jump of 12-feet-3 inches, that is not only the best ever at a combine, but a world record. The previous world record for the broad jump was 12-2, set Nov. 11, 1968 by Norwegian Arne Tvervaag of the Ringerike FIK Sportclub.

It wasn't just the broad jump that had scouts buzzing. Jones finished among the best performers at any position in the vertical jump (44 inches), 3-cone drill (6.78) and short shuttle (3.94).

With the Combine just three weeks removed from when he started running, Jones didn't run the 40-yard dash or perform in the positional drills and therefore how he performs at UConn's March 31 Pro Day will play a key role in his final grading.

Jones had left shoulder surgery in October, ending his second season as a starting cornerback after starting at safety in 2011 and 2012. At the time of the injury Jones had 24 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups. He returned one interception 70 yards for a touchdown.

He started 37 of 43 possible games for the Huskies, including six of the final seven games of his redshirt freshman season at safety while future NFL draft picks Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Tennessee Titans) and Dwayne Gratz (Jacksonville Jaguars) starred at cornerback. Jones finished with 223 tackles, 18 passes defended and eight interceptions in four years. He posted a career-high 88 tackles while playing at safety during the 2012 season, then set new career-bests with eight pass breakups and three interceptions in 2013 after converting to cornerback.

Jones has the athleticism for cornerback, but looks and tackles like safety at 6-1 and 199 pounds. He was a senior captain at UConn with impeccable character that has coaches gushing about his intangibles. Factor in the athletic prowess and Jones has created a ton of positive buzz -- and he didn't have to run the 40-yard dash to do so.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Tall, athletic frame with good overall muscle definition and distribution. Possesses easy athleticism with light feet, fluid change of direction and quick acceleration to mirror receivers. Understands angles and shows good route recognition to keep his body between the quarterback and his receiver.

Often lined up in press coverage at UConn, showing the balance, aggression and confidence to compete for early playing time in a similar scheme in the NFL. Good vision to locate the football and shows good hand-eye coordination and soft mitts to take advantage of interception opportunities (eight over his career). Sound tackler who breaks down well and uses his long arms to lasso ball-carriers. Voted a team captain as a senior.

WEAKNESSES: Underwent surgery on his left shoulder in October and remains limited while he recovers. Wasn't viewed as a particularly physical defender even prior to the injury and therefore there is some concern as to how aggressive he'll be following surgery. Good lateral agility and balance but his feet tend to get stuck when breaking back toward the quarterback, leaving receivers a sliver of space to haul in passes.

To his credit, Jones closes quickly and is a reliable tackler. Said following his record-breaking leap that even he was surprised by his jump, saying that his personal best prior to the Combine was 11-7, a full eight inches short of his leap in Indianapolis.

COMPARES TO: Prince Amukamara, Giants: By suffering a season-ending shoulder injury midway through his senior season, Jones didn't earn all-conference or all-star game attention but the tape shows an instinctive, athletic defender with the size, toughness and work ethic to project as a future NFL starter.

--Rob Rang

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Player News
05/04/2015 - Cowboys get their man in CB Jones...The Cowboys had their eyes on running back Melvin Gordon who went 15th to San Diego and they had Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory rated among their top 15 picks. Of course he had character concerns because of a failed drug test. But the team felt that Gordon was the biggest need and the safest pick because of his versatility and squeaky clean image. "We had him rated high on our board, in the top 15 picks," Jerry Jones said. "We were never tempted to move around for any other players. I can sleep if we come out of the draft without a running back or a pass rusher. We would have had trouble getting a nap without help in the secondary."

Jones is easily one of the top athletes in the draft, playing safety his first two years before moving to cornerback his final two years. His athleticism is off the charts in that he set a would-be world record in the broad jump at the NFL Combine with an effort of 12 foot, 3 inches, shattering the old record of 11-7. No one has ever had a mark over 12 feet. At 6-foot, 199 pounds, Jones had 24 tackles last season and two interceptions. He returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown. He had been labeled a "workout warrior" after his impressive showing at the NFL Combine. But he is more than that. He is football player and plans to prove as much. "You hear the term 'workout warrior,' but to me those people don't matter," Byron Jones said. "The people that matter are the GMs, the coaches and scouts that are looking at your film and actually evaluating you. So I'm very happy with the outcome. Very happy." - The Sports Xchange



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