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Redskins Draft Countdown: Connecticut DB Byron Jones

Apr 8, 2015, 9:32 AM EDT

Byron-Jones-interception

The NFL Draft is just over weeks away and I’ll continue researching the prospects throughout the lead-up to the draft. Along the way I’ll be sharing some of what I find out with Real Redskins readers. The focus will be on players in areas of need for the Redskins but I might look at players at just about any position since Scot McCloughan has said that he will take the best player available regardless of need.

Byron Jones
Defensive back
Connecticut

source:

What they’re saying:

Strengths: Extremely smart and instinctive on the field. Shows above-average anticipation of routes. Is able to sniff out rub routes and works to avoid them. Flashes recovery speed downfield and gets head around to find ball and make a play on it. Uses instincts and adequate closing burst to disrupt the catch.

Weaknesses: Plays with high center of gravity. Has difficulty gearing down quickly and changing directions. Doesn’t always play with feet under him. Will lose balance and footing too often. Not a quick-twitch athlete. Feet show noticeable stall before firing forward out of backpedal. Willing to tackle but not a physical player.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: As far as anyone can tell, Jones set a world record by posting a standing broad jump of 12 feet, 3 inches at the combine. The standing broad jump has not been an Olympic sport since 1912 so the official records are spotty, but nobody has been able to find a longer jump.

But the jump that created so much media buzz in Indianapolis in and of itself won’t draw the interest of Scot McCloughan. His instincts, speed (4.4 in the 40 at his pro day), and leadership are what the Redskins will consider when they look at Jones.

They also might pull out some old tape and watch him play in 2011 and 2012 when he started at safety for the Huskies. If the Redskins do end up taking Jones it could be with the idea of converting him to a free safety. The plan would be giving him a season as Dashon Goldson’s backup and getting him some snaps in nickel and dime situation and then have him ready to start in 2016.

[Related: Byron Jones to Redskins in Standig’s Mock Draft 5.0]

Potential issues: It’s hard to sort out the “jump up the draft boards” media analyst hype over his broad jump from his actual standing among NFL teams. After the combine some mock drafts have had him going in the latter stages of the first round, which would put him out of reach of the Redskins.

However, NFL.com gives Jones a grade of 5.5, which translates to “chance of being an NFL starter”. Jones is graded behind some 75 other players, which translates into being a third-round choice.

There also is an injury concern with Jones. He missed the last five games of last season with a torn labrum. However, he was a durable player prior to that, playing in 43 straight games prior to the shoulder injury.

Is he physical enough to play safety if that’s where a team wants him to do? That is what McCloughan will have to sort out on tape and during other investigation.

Bottom line: He may not be a target for the Redskins with their second-round pick (No. 38) but if they should pick up a later pick in that round via a trade he could be on their radar. If Jones is still there when the Redskins are on the clock in the third round (No. 69) there could be some serious consideration.

Previously in Draft Countdown:

  1. redskinscaio - Apr 8, 2015 at 11:21 AM

    Torn Labrum? Shoulder issues? How is he going to tackle? No way. Sorry kid. Maybe as an undrafted free agent.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 8, 2015 at 11:39 AM

      He’ll be gone before the 3rd round starts.

      This: “Extremely smart and instinctive on the field” is worth a lot.

      See Amerson, David for an example of a guy with all the physical tools one could want in a DB, but lacking in those traits.
      ~

  2. ET - Apr 8, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    The Eagles, among others, are supposedly interested in Jones. I don’t think he lasts until the 3rd round, at any rate.

  3. bowlregard - Apr 8, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    He may not be tough enough for McLovin. Goldson and Johnson are of a tougher variety.

  4. troylok - Apr 8, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    Every year someone kills it at the combine and they scream up the rankings. Anyone remember Deuce Lutui’s high jump – or for that matter – who Deuce Lutui was? This kid is a good baller but he’s a fifth round pick, if that.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 8, 2015 at 3:54 PM

      I know why Rich tears his hair out over his comments.
      ~

      • troylok - Apr 8, 2015 at 8:17 PM

        I don’t know what the big deal is jumping over a broad who was just standing there…

  5. abanig - Apr 8, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    I’d take him in round 3. Start him off as Goldson’s back up & special teams player… Fo sho! Hopefully, after backing up and learning from Goldson year he’d be ready to start.

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