North Carolina Senior
Has good size and moves well for his size. Uses his size well to get position against corners and will make the catch in traffic on the jump balls. Is a long strider that can get behind the corners and safeties on vertical routes. Has good strength and natural runner with the ball in his hands. Runs with good balance and will break tackles because of his size and strength being too much to handle for most smaller corners. Runs harder when he smells the endzone and will drag defenders the extra few yards for the endzone. Will use the stiff arm and can at times make the first man miss after the catch. Will adjust to the high or low throws in the flat or over the middle, and uses his size to get position on the slant. He has strong hands and will extend to make the one-handed grab on the fade. Uses his size well at times to get position as a lead blocker on the edge for the ballcarrier and will finish his blocks at times.
Doesn't have consistent hands, letting the ball get into his body too often, allowin defenders to break up passes. Does not consistently play the deep ball well in the air, and won't attack it. Doesn't do a great job timing his jump and extending away from his body on the deep ball. Won't always look the ball in before he turns upfield to try and make the move. Will try for the one-handed highlight catch at times when he should just make the conventional two-handed grab. Is not very sudden with his release and his moves after the catch. Not a guy that is going to make most good defenders miss with his quickness and speed. And will also struggle to separate from corners because of that lack of ideal burst. Will push off at times to get that last bit of separation. Rounds off too many of his routes and can be a lazy route-runner at times. Can be a lazy run blocker that only gives perfunctory effort too often, jogging out to hit his assignments.
Jones is one of those players that you really like his size, strength, length, and strong hands, but he lacks ball skills letting too many passes get into his body which makes him inconsistent there. His effort and attention to detail as a route runner and blocker are lacking, and he needs quite a bit of polish if he's going to live up to his physical potential at the next level. He continues the tradition of really good athletes that played the WR position at UNC, recruited by Butch Davis, including Hakeem Nicks and Greg Little. Was briefly declared ineligible for UNC's bowl game this past year because he allowed a family member use his name and image on a flyer for a New Year's Even Party. His favorite NFL team happens to be the Atlanta Falcons.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/3) vs. James Madison: 10 targets, 9 catches, 116 yds (12.9 avg), 60 YAC (6.7 avg), 2 TDs, 0 drops
(9/10) vs. Rutgers: 7 tgt., 6 rec., 135 yds (22.5 avg), 66 YAC (11.0 avg), 1 TD, 1 drop; 1 fumble
(10/22) at Clemson: 5 tgt., 2 rec., 16 yds (8.0 avg), 6 YAC (3.0 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops
(11/17) at Virginia Tech: 9 tgt., 6 rec., 105 yds (17.5 avg), 39 YAC (6.5 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops; 1 penalty
(12/26) vs. Missouri: 12 tgt., 6 rec., 77 yds (12.8 avg), 24 YAC (4.0 avg), 1 TDs, 3 drops
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 85 rec., 1196 yds (14.1 avg), 12 TDs
2007: at Hargrave Military Academy
Jones is a talented player, but he's fairly raw and unpolished. If he goes to a team that has good coaches, stability on offense, and a good QB, I believe he can really get the time and coaching he needs to develop into a good NFL player. But if he goes to a bad team with instability either at QB or in the coaching staff, he could really struggle. In that sense, Jones is a bit of a boom/bust prospect. I think he has the potential to be a good starter, but will probably be more consistently in line what you're looking for in a third option. Jones just doesn't have the attention to detail that you want in a consistent starting receiver, and will need a good receivers coach or a veteran to take him under his wing and will help him develop his route-running and ball skills. If he gets that early on, I think probably by his third year you can start to see it pay dividends. I think he has the potential to be an effective vertical option despite his lack of ideal speed. He should be playing in a scheme where he has other better receivers that can draw coverages and leave him in 1 on 1 situations against smaller corners, instances he can win. I think his NFL career will mirror that of Robert Beachem, but I think his game is much more reminiscent to that of a lesser, less polished version of Dwayne Bowe. Like Meachem and unlike Bowe, I don't expect him to hit the ground running. Meachem went to a stable environment in New Orleans, and by his third year was producing at a level where he could be considered a good No. 3. And while he's not technically their starter, he and Devery Henderson are essentially co-starters. I think Jones can probably fill a similar role in such an offense, as a guy that can be counted on to make some big plays occasionally, but won't be a guy that you can rely on to show up every week and be a consistent threat. And he'll be more of a possession threat for a team than a vertical option like Meachem is in New Orleans. Given how unpolished he is, I don't see him making significant contributions until his third year. I think he's a guy you can trust to make 40 or so catches a year, and has the potential to do more in a given season. If he does go to one of those stable teams and develops over the course of his rookie contract, I think he has the potential to be a good No. 2 by the time his second contract rolls around and be a guy that can catch 60-70 passes a year. I would not bet on it, but he does have that potential to be a player in the Dwayne Bowe mold, albeit probably not as productive as Bowe has been in recent years.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs.
Jones has the potential to be a good No. 3 option in Atlanta. He is more of a possession target than a pure vertical threat that you'd prefer in Koetter's offense. But he can be a good outside guy that if you move Jones to the slot, and have White opposite him to draw some of those coverages. That would leave him in one on one opportunities, which when he's fully developed a few years down the road he can really start to take advantage. His potential as a blocker also would make him a good fit in Atlanta because they won't be abandoning the running game anytime soon. He can come in right away and add depth as a No. 4 option behind Jones, White, and Douglas, and two or so years down the road should be passing Douglas as the third option. He won't be a consistent playmaker, but will be a guy that can give the Falcons 40 or so catches a year, be a nice option in the redzone and help move the chains on third downs, and occasionally make the big strike downfield. If Douglas is not retained, he probably won't be a reliable No. 3 option right away, but can grow into that role by his second or third year.
Jones has the potential of a starter, and a good passing team that is one of those stable offenses I mentioned before, might take him in the third round because of that potential. But given how raw he is, he might be a safer pick if you can wait until the fourth round since he's not guaranteed to be a starter.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
After Catch: 6.0
Body Control: 6.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.