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2015 NFL DRAFT

Byron Jones, CB

School: Connecticut  |  Conference: AAC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: New Britain, CT
Height/Weight: 6-1 / 199 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
2031

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
---- 44 1/212'3"3.946.78
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.432.521.5018 ----

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • New Orleans Saints | #31
    With the addition of a pass rusher at No. 13, the Saints can take advantage of the depth of this year's cornerback class with Jones, whose athleticism would serve as an ideal complement to Keenan Lewis.
  • Philadelphia Eagles | #20
    Connecting the pro day dots, Chip Kelly has paid close attention to big, athletic defensive back prospects this spring. Eric Rowe is in the conversation, but Jones is the better fit and should surprise no one if he's drafted this high.
  • Baltimore Ravens | #26
    They need a corner and this kid is brimming with athletic ability, but he does good things with that skill. Jones could team with Jimmy Smith and LaDarius Webb to turn a 2014 position of worry into a strength.
  • San Francisco 49ers | #27
    Workout freak who gives the 49ers value here along with filling a need for them. This secondary's been hurting for a while and needs an infusion of talent.
 

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

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.

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Player News
02/24/2015 - 2015 NFL Combine, 25 Takeaways: Five Players Sending Us Back to the Tape: Byron Jones, DB, Connecticut: With a Combine and world record 12-foot-3-inch standing broad jump, Jones quite literally leaped onto the NFL radar. Jones, who also showed great agility in shuttle drills, injured his left shoulder in October, ending his second season as a starting cornerback after starting at safety in 2011 and 2012. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
 

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