2018 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.
Career Notes
A personable, polished and gifted performer who completed record-breaking career as one of the premier pass catchers in NCAA history ... Owns FBS, American Athletic Conference and ECU career (399) and single-season (158) standards in receptions ... A Fred Biletnikoff Award, William V. Campbell Trophy and Senior CLASS Award Finalist in 2016 ... Was also formally recognized as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the Heisman Trust ... Additionally, earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for work in the classroom ... Played all four receiving positions as a senior after starring at the "H" slot during first three campaigns ... Played in 50 games with 41 starts, averaging 8.0 receptions and 85.6 reception yards per contest ... Broke FBS career record with 19-yard reception at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium vs. Navy on Nov. 19, 2016, surpassing former teammate Justin Hardy's (2011-14) mark of 387 ... Set FBS single-season standard with a two-yard catch at Temple a week later on Nov. 26, eclipsing the previous mark of 151 by Bowling Green's Freddie Barnes (2009) ... Stands 12th on the all-time NCAA (FBS) receiving yards list with 4,279 yards ... Became 19th player in FBS history with 4,000-plus receiving yards vs. SMU (14-yarder) on Nov. 12 during senior campaign ... A two-time All-American Athletic Conference selection ... Owns league and program single-season records for most receptions (158 in 2016) and reception yardage (1,746 also in 2016) ... Also has school and AAC career mark for receptions (399) and stands second in the school annals for receiving yards (4,279) and touchdown catches (23) ... One of only two East Carolina receivers with over 4,000 reception yards (Justin Hardy/4,541) ... Closed career with streak of at least one reception in 47-straight games (dating back to Sept. 28, 2013 vs. North Carolina) ... Caught multiple passes in 49 contests, reached double-digit reception figures 18 times (two/2014, six/2015, 10/2016) and posted triple-digit receiving yard totals on 19 occasions (two/2013, three/2014, five/2015, nine/2016) ... Of his 399 receptions, 172 exceeded 10 yards in length (49 were for 20-plus) ... Racked up 100 or more all-purpose yards in 25 games (three/2013, seven/2014, six/2015, nine/2016) ... Also returned 29 kickoffs for 598 yards (20.6 ypr) and completed three-of-four passes for 36 yards on one touchdown (2016) ... Owns starts in both bowl contests played in (Beef O' Brady's, Birmingham) ... Was a fan and media favorite around the ECU campus and Greenville ... An active community relations participant who was often requested to speak and read at local elementary schools and hospitals.
2016 Season
Led all NCAA FBS receivers in receptions (158), receptions per game (13.20 rpg), receiving yards (1,746) and receiving yards per game (145.5 ypg) ...Started 12 games, served as team captain and played all four receiver positions during course of campaign ... Earned First-Team All-America Athletic Conference honors ... Set ECU and AAC single-season records for receptions and receiving yards, surpassing former ECU pass catcher Justin Hardy's marks of 121 and 1,494 (2014) ... Became the first Pirate to register a pair of 200-yard receiving games (206/Tulsa, 212/Navy) and was just one of four FBS receivers to accomplish feat (multiple 200-yard games) ... Established a school and league single-game record for receptions with 22 vs. South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium on Sept. 17 - one shy of matching a FBS record last set in 2008 and the most by any FBS receiver during the 2016 season ... Came within three catches of setting the FBS single-season receptions per game record, finishing with a 13.20 average (standard of 13.40 was established in 1965 by Tulsa's Howard Twilley) ... Caught at least one pass in 44 of 48 quarters (multiple 32 times) - none vs. WCU/4Q, CIN/3Q, UConn/4Q, Navy/4Q ... Tallied nine double-triples (catches-yards) ... Tallied 15 or more receptions on four occasions (22 vs. South Carolina, 17 vs. UCF, 18 vs. USF, 19 vs. Connecticut) ... Booked 150 or more reception yards six times (180 vs. Western Carolina, 190 vs. South Carolina, 185 vs. Connecticut, 206 vs. Tulsa, 173 vs. SMU, 212 vs. Navy) ... Extended streak with at least one reception to 47-straight games with a 13-yarder against Temple in season finale ... Logged eight TD grabs (two vs. Navy, one each against Western Carolina, UCF, USF, Connecticut, Tulsa and SMU) ... Had at least one scoring catch in four of the last five contests ... Also picked up 24 rushing yards on four carries (6.0 ypr) and completed only pass attempt for a two-yard TD strike to quarterback Philip Nelson vs. UConn ... Had a season-long 13-yard run during ECU's 33-30 win over NC State at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium ... Racked up over 100 all-purpose yards in nine contests (high of 212 vs. Navy) ... Combined with Quay Johnson (58 receptions) as the FBS's top receiving duo with 216 catches ... Led all ECU receivers in fourth down efficiency with eight catches (11 targets) for a 72.7 percentage ... Was 61-of-87 on first down, 50-of-69 on second down and a 39-of-54 on third down for a combined 81 first down conversions ... Made 109 receptions for 1,188 yards and seven TDs in eight American Conference tilts, an average of 13.6 catches and 148.5 yards per game ... Averaged 160.0 receiving yards (77-960) in six home contests, while nabbing 81 catches for 786 yards in six outings on the road ... Recorded a team-high 19 receptions of 20-plus yards ... Owner of the longest pass reception of season with a 77-yarder vs. Navy in final home game (Senior Day) of career ... Efforts on and off the field resulted in a well-celebrated honors candidacy that included formal recognition as a Heisman Trophy candidate (by Heisman Trust), finalist status for the William V. Campbell Trophy (one of 12), Senior CLASS Award (one of 10) and Biletnikoff Award (one of three), along with CoSIDA Academic All-America honors (second team) ... Also earned selection as a semifinalist for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award ...Was a four-time American Athletic Conference Honor Roll choice (Sept. 19, Oct. 31, Nov. 7, Nov. 21), a two-time Hero Sports Offensive Player-of-the-Week (Sept. 23, Oct. 7) pick and an American Sports Network Game Changer Player-of-the-Week (Oct. 31) ... Preseason honors included a First-Team Preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele Magazine.
2015 Season
Became the eighth Pirate in school history to eclipse the single-season 1,000 receiving yards milestone and came just two receptions away from being the fourth player to reach a triple-digit catch total ... Caught 98 passes for 1,099 yards - an average of 11.2 yards per reception ... Ranked fourth nationally in receptions per game (8.2), 18th in receiving yards per game (91.6) and 25th in overall receiving yards ... A Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection who led league in receptions per game and stood second in reception yards per game ... Started all 12 contests ... Had multiple catches in each game and reached double-digit reception totals six times, including a season-best 14 each in outings at Florida and UCF ... Surpassed 100 reception yards on five occasions with a high of 181 against Knights in road finale ... Twice booked back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, once early in the season (135/Florida, 130/Navy) and once late in the year (181/UCF, 124/Cincinnati) ... Other century mark performance was against Temple (106) ... Topped 50 receiving yards in 10 games (27/Tulsa, 8/USF were only exceptions) ... On receiving end of a unit-high five touchdown passes - one each vs. Florida (27-yarder), Virginia Tech (26) and BYU (seven), while matching a personal-best with two at UCF (eight and 13-yarders) ... In addition to pair of 14-catch efforts, also tallied 12 grabs vs. Cincinnati and a trio of 10-reception tilts (Navy, BYU, Temple) ... Nearly reached sixth double-triple with nine-catch, 85-yard performance at Connecticut ... Thirty-eight (38) catches went for 10-plus yards (15 for 20-plus, three for 30-plus) ... Longest grab of season was a 36-yarder against Midshipmen ... Was targeted 25 times on third-down plays and made 19 receptions (76.0 percent) to help pick up 15 first downs ... Overall, was thrown to on 125 occasions (78.4 percent catch rate) and was responsible for 57 first downs ... Hauled in four-of-five fourth-down throws (80.0 percent) ... Made 66 receptions for 747 yards (11.2) and two TDs during eight-game league schedule (32-362, three TDs in four non-conference tilts) ... Averaged an impressive 117.0 receiving yards and scored four touchdowns in six road contest (63-702), compared to a 66.7 ypg clip and just one score in six home dates ... Also excelled in nationally-televised weekday games with a 124.0 ypg average (compared to an 80.8 mark in nine Saturday matchups) ... Amassed 100 or more all-purpose yards five times (100/Towson, 135/Florida, 130/Navy, 100/Temple, 181/UCF, 124/Cincinnati) ... Completed only pass attempt of season for 34 yards (to Davon Grayson vs. Tulsa) ... Rushed once for -6 yards against Owls ... Returned one kickoff for 23 yards in opener vs. Towson ... A three-time game captain (Florida, Navy, Connecticut) ... Selected as program's MVP at conclusion of season.
2014 Season
Ranked second on the team with in receptions (81), while standing third in receiving yards (830) and receiving yards per game (63.8) ... Was also among American Athletic Conference leaders in receptions (3rd), receptions per game (3rd), all-purpose yards (4th/1,315 yards/101.2 ypg), receiving yards (4th) and receiving yards per game (7th) ... Rated 29th nationally in receptions per game (6.2) ... Started nine of 13 games and averaged 10.2 yards per catch ... Produced three 100-yard receiving games (150/N.C. Central, 116/North Carolina, 130/SMU) ... Recorded 10 catches against N.C. Central and Connecticut, which marked a season-best ... Hauled in at least five passes in nine of 13 games (eight or more in five outings) ... Scored five TDs (single scores vs. N.C. Central/season-long 41-yarder, Virginia Tech/two, North Carolina/25, SMU/11 and Tulane/four) ... Returned 24 kickoffs for 477 yards (19.9 ypr), with a long of 44 against Tulane ... Tallied 100 or more all-purpose yards seven times with a season-best of 192 vs. N.C. Central (150/receiving, 36/kickoff return, eight/punt return) ... Was an ESPN.com Game Ball recipient and earned American Athletic Conference Honor Roll honors for performance vs. Eagles in the season opener ... Also produced a notable 177 all-purpose yards (27/receiving, 150/kickoff return) at Cincinnati ... The 150 kickoff return yards against the Bearcats were the most by a Pirate since Chris Johnson had 153 yards against Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl (2007) - a span of 88 games ... Thirty-one (31) of 81 receptions went for 10 or more yards (10 for 20-plus) ... On the receiving end of a 30-yard pass (third quarter) from Shane Carden when he became the school's all-time passing (yards) leader against SMU ... Was one-of-two passing, recording only completion (no yards) to Shane Carden against Connecticut ... Closed out season with six-catch, 64-yard effort against Florida in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field ... Averaged 99.5 receiving yards per game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (47-597 in six contest), compared to a 33.3 average on the road (34-233 in seven games) ... A Phil Steele Magazine Midseason All-American Athletic Conference First-Team selection ... Selected as the program's recipient of the Rock Roggeman Heart-of-the-Pirate Award (which is symbolizes the most inspirational player) at the team's annual awards banquet.
2013 Season
Earned selection to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team ... A true rookie who played in all 13 games (eight starts) ... Was unit's second-leading receiver with 62 catches for 604 yards (9.7 ypr) and five touchdowns, trailing only Hardy ... Longest pass reception went for 59 yards against Marshall ... Also had four kickoff returns for 98 yards (24.5 ypr) with a long of 28 (FIU) ... Caught multiple passes in 12 of 13 contests (none vs. Virginia Tech) ... Posted triple-digits in receiving yards twice - 8-104 vs. Tulsa and 9-123 vs. Marshall ... In collegiate debut against Old Dominion, caught a pair of passes for 11 yards with his first career reception going for a seven-yard score ... First collegiate start came at Tulane (and opened all remaining games afterwards) ... Had two season-high nine-reception contests (FIU and Marshall) ... Recorded a season-best two touchdowns against Tulsa (18 and 25-yarders) ... Other four scores came against Old Dominion (four-yarder), Southern Miss (11-yarder) and FIU (35-yarder) ... Ranked sixth on the team with 30 points ... Twenty-four of 62 receptions went for 10 or more yards (5 of 20-plus that included TDs against FIU and Tulsa) ... Caught five or more passes on seven occasions ... Topped 50-plus yards receiving four times ... Thirty-one of 62 receptions resulted in an ECU first down or touchdown ... Tied for fifth in C-USA with the 62 catches, while also ranking fifth with 4.8 receptions per contest ... Tallied 100 or more all-purpose yards on three occasions (120/Florida Atlantic, 104/Tulsa and 123/Marshall) ... Averaged 6.4 receptions and 64.3 reception yards per game in eight games as a starter (2.2/18.0 in five games coming off the bench ... Other contest of note was an eight-catch, 48-yard afternoon against Ohio in the Beef O' Brady's Bowl at Tropicana Field ... Selected as the wide receiver-of-the-year during the program's annual postseason awards banquet.
High School
On the receiving end of 36 passes for 439 yards (12.2 ypr) and six touchdowns as a senior at Stephen F. Austin High School ... Led Maroons with 14 kick returns for 159 yards (11.4 ypr), rushed for an additional 204 yards on 41 carries and completed three-of-six passes for 32 yards and a TD ... A two-year varsity starter for coach Mike Rosenthal, who was a Monogram winner at Notre Dame and enjoyed an NFL career with the New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins ... Rates as a three-star recruit according to Scout.com and ESPN.com ... A First-Team All-District (15-5A) selection at wide receiver and kick returner in 2012 .... One of only three wide receivers to earn a spot on the Austin American-Statesman's All-Central Texas 2012 preseason football team ... Also was a Fanstand/KJCE AM 1370 Preseason All-Austin Area Team pick as a receiver ... Contest of note was a five-catch, 65-yard, two-touchdown effort against Westwood in the Maroons' season opener ... Caught 41 passes for 359 yards and four touchdowns as a junior ... Also ran for 55 yards and a score 42 attempts and completed 27-of-53 passes for 280 yards with four TDs and four interceptions in 2011 ... Junior season highlight was a three-touchdown passing performance against Akins ... Split the District 15-5A Newcomer-of-the-Year award with Bowie junior running back Gino Jonassaint in '11 ... Earned additional letters in track (won the district triple jump championship and competed on the 4x1 and 4x2 relay teams).
Full name is Isaiah Avery Jones, but goes by Zay ... Born March 30, 1995 at Dallas, Texas ... Major is communications ... Has garnered ECU Honor Roll and Dean's List accolades for work in the classroom ... In addition to CoSIDA Academic All-America status, also earned Capital One Academic All-District (first-team) honors during the 2014 and 2016 seasons ... Son of former Pirate letterman (1988-91) and East Carolina Hall of Famer (inducted in 2004) Robert Jones, who remains the only consensus (AP, Scripps-Howard, Football News, Walter Camp, Kodak, College Football Writers Association, College & Pro Football Newsweekly) All-America performer (1991) in the history of the ECU program ... Father also earned All-America honors out of his linebacking position as a junior in 1990 and was a part of three Super Bowl championship teams with the Dallas Cowboys (1993, 1994, 1996) ... Older brother Cayleb Jones was on the Philadelphia Eagles' 2016 preseason roster after playing collegiately at Texas and Arizona ... In all, has five siblings ...Additionally, uncle Jeff Blake was quarterback on the 1991 East Carolina team, while cousin Emory Blake caught a TD pass in the 2010 national championship game while playing for Auburn ... Enjoys acting and dancing, in fact, served as co-master of ceremonies for the 2015 ECU Goldspy's (an annual awards presentation and ceremony emulating the ESPY's) and starred in an athletics department promotional video in 2016 entitled Can't Stop The Feeling of Pirate Pride! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ffq0n13rvc)