Recently, the Detroit Lions signed cornerback Josh Wilson on the free agent market after bringing back Rashean Mathis, and that helped the depth situation at cornerback. Despite this, the team has some definite injury concerns coming back, and needs to be covered with even more depth next season in the 2015 NFL Draft. One of the top prospects this season is Byron Jones, a player who set a broad jump world record and could have jumped his way into Detroit’s consciousness early in the draft process as a result.
Notable Combine Measurables
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*40-Yd Dash: 4.4 seconds
20-Yd Dash: N/A
60-Yd Shuttle: 10.98 seconds
3-Cone Drill: 6.78 seconds
Vertical Jump: 44 1/2
*Broad Jump: 12’3″
225-lb Bench Press: N/A
*Jones ran this 40 yard-dash at Connecticut’s pro-day, and his combine broad jump set a world record.
Traits and Projected Round
Jones is a player that was largely seen as an average talent and mostly unknown until his toolsy combine performance opened up eyes across football. With a record-setting broad jump, he burst onto the scene. Now, folks have begun to take a closer look at his tape and realize the whole player that is. Jones is solid in man-to-man coverage and shows a solid closing speed when engaging receivers on the field. He’s got active hands and a good nose for the football, considering his eight career interceptions. Considering he sat out the last part of 2014 with shoulder surgery, Jones will have to prove his durability and clean up his tackling.
Considering his traits and eye-popping numbers, expect Jones to go within the first two rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft. It might be wisest to expect him not to slip past the New England Patriots at pick 32, and certainly not as far down as Detroit selects in round two.
Why The Detroit Lions Could Draft Byron Jones
Considering the physical tools and size, Jones could be a perfect fit for the Lions, who need badly to develop a younger cornerback with talent outside of Darius Slay. Jones’ tools also are important to remember, considering the Lions play in a pass-happy division with Aaron Rodgers, Teddy Bridgewater and Jay Cutler. His ability to elevate for the football and cover plenty of ground would play well in this scenario, in addition to his abilities as a ball hawk. Most also consider Jones to be an excellent teammate and responsible leader, something the Lions could certainly appreciate for their defense.
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