Has good hands and does a nice job securing the ball and avoiding the hit. Has good body control and will lay out for passes over the middle. Can make the catch in traffic, and use his body to shield defender. Flashes some potential as a route-runner, working the short field and finding soft spots in the zone. Shows some effort as a blocker.
Lacks ideal size, speed, and playmaking abilities. Won't give you a lot after the catch. Will body catch some passes.
Jones projects as a slot receiver, but he lacks the upside that other guys have. So he's a guy that is going to have to outwork his competition because teams will overlook him because of his lack of ideal physical tools. Led Tennessee in receptions the past two years, combining for 101 catches, 1276 yards (12.6 avg) and 8 touchdowns in that span. Showed some ability on special teams, averaging 38.3 yards on 3 kickoff returns and 8.4 yards on 17 punt returns, but probably lacks the speed, burst to be anything more than a stopgap option there.
The player I would compare Jones to is ex-Vols player Mark Jones. Mark Jones has carved out a niche for himself in the pros as a special teams player, and I think Gerald will have to do the same. Mark was even smaller, and also played defense while at Tennessee, so Gerald has more upside on offense. But he's not a guy that is going to be a huge part of an offense. For a team that likes to spread things out, he might be an OK slot option. But he's more likely to be a guy in that sort of Greg Camarillo mold that is a good receiver, but not a guy that can consistently make plays. Camarillo was productive in Miami, and Jones has a chance to do the same, but he'll be hard pressed because at least Camarillo has some more size. More than likely, Jones will be a 20-catch receiver at best, and if he can carve out a niche as a return man or coverage guy, can stick in the pros as a No. 4 or No. 5 guy. But if he cannot, eventually teams will find better options with higher upside to replace him.
Jones can add some depth in the slot and potentially push Douglas down the road. And while he's a bit beefier than Douglas to make more grabs in traffic, he lacks Douglas' burst and speed, and thus unlikely to beat him out for a job anytime soon. Thusly, Jones will have to make his way in Atlanta on special teams, where he would be competing with someone like Weems. He's not as quick as Weems, but could be a guy that can land a practice squad spot early on, and then get the opportunity to develop with another year or two and land a Weems-like role on the bench down the road.
Jones probably should go undrafted because he lacks ideal upside on offense. But a team could give him a look in the seventh round if they like his special teams potential.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
After Catch: 2.0
Body Control: 3.0
Scouting reports of the wide receivers in the 2011 Draft.
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