Has good hands and consistently extends, attacking the ball and catching away from his body. Does a good job adjusting to high and low throws. Shows good body control, and will make the diving grab over the middle or along the sideline. Has good concentration. Shows ability to separate on the quick out or comeback throw. Flashes the attention to detail as a route-runnre with his footwork and selling his cuts. Not afraid to go over the middle and will use his body to get position on the crossing route. Shows some willingness as a blocker downfield. Does a nice job working as a punt returner, able to show some shiftiness but consistently does a good job getting north and south.
Undersized due to a skinny build, and will likely struggle to beat press coverage. Physical corners do better against him because they can separate him from the ball in traffic. Lacks ideal speed and burst, and won't be a guy that can run past anybody. Will struggle to separate for the same reasons. Not going to give you a lot after the catch for similar reasons. Won't make many big plays as a punt returner because of his lack of game-breaking speed. Makes some mental errors on special teams as well, including fielding balls off a bounce or fair catching it deep in their own territory.
Jones is a solid, consistent receiver that probably had his production hurt this past year due to the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of the QB, more than a reflection on his own skill level. But he's a player that while he has a lot of good tools to work with, will likely be overlooked at times by NFL level because he's not a big-time playmaker. But he's a guy that can consistently move the chains and should be a productive slot receiver.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(10/6) at Oregon: 15 targets, 6 rec., 66 yds (11.0 avg), 1 YAC (0.2 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops
(10/13) vs. USC: 14 tgt., 6 rec., 89 yds (14.8 avg), 26 YAC (4.3 avg), 0 TDs, 2 drops
(12/28) vs. Texas: 18 tgt., 8 rec., 83 yds (10.4 avg), 40 YAC (5.0 avg), 0 TDs, 0 drops, 1 fumble
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 62 catches, 846 yds, 13.6 avg, 3 TDs, 5 rush att.; 22 yds, 4.4 avg, 0 TDs; 14 PR, 7.3 avg
2010: 12/12-50-765-15.3-4, 6-94-15.7-1
Jones has potential at the next level. The big key for him will be his ability to improve as a route-runner. He flashes ability already there, but like all collegiate players he's going to need some polish. I think he's a guy that can find a home in the slot at the next level. While he has good size, he probably could stand to add another 10 pounds of muscle to his frame to fill out better. He may be the scrawniest looking 200-pound receiver I've ever seen. But he'll probably never be a guy that can consistently beat press coverage and will have some issues matching up with the bigger more physical corners he'll face. Thus why playing him in the slot probably works best for him, since it should minimize those sort of matchups. He's the type of guy that can help move the chains in that position. The player I think he probably compares to is Nate Burleson. I think like Burleson, Jones has the potential to develop into a capable No. 2 option, but will likely need to be playing across a really dynamic No. 1 option to really make that work. He probably is a slightly lesser version of Burleson that I think can consistently give most offenses 30-40 catches as the No. 3 option, but I'm not convinced he'll ever have those 60-catch seasons that Burleson has been able to do, as well as be the playmaker after the catch that Burleson is. He does have some quickness, but not enough to think he can really exploit anybody but the weakest of corners. By the time his second contract rolls around, I do think he has the potential to be a solid 50-60 catch guy if he develops. But at this point, I'd probably not bet on it. But I think in an offense that is looking for a slot receiver that can work the short field over the middle, he can be a productive third option that may need a year or two to really grow into his frame and polish up his route running before he produces. But he should be a decent complementary option that adds depth to almost any team he plays on.
Nate Burleson, Lions.
Jones has a bigger, sturdier frame than Harry Douglas, which probably makes him a slightly better option as a vertical target, but not by a huge degree. What you like about Jones over Douglas is that despite not being as quick or explosive as Douglas, he has better range in the sense that he you don't have to be as pin-point accurate to get him the ball. He's the type of guy that will adjust well to throws, and with a more accurate QB in Matt Ryan than he had in college in Zach Maynard, he should be a much more reliable option on third downs than Douglas. But other than that, he's not going to bring a ton to the table that Douglas doesn't already bring. If the team were to lose Douglas to free agency, he would make a nice replacement, although he's probably a year or so away from really producing on the same level as Douglas. He's not going to be a future starter in Atlanta, but the sort of guy that can help move the chains, catching around 40 passes a year, and be a decent No. 2 option in the event of an injury to Jones or White.
Jones is a good depth piece on most teams with some potential to develop into a good slot receiver. But because he offers minimal immediate potential as a starter or playmaker, he's probably at best a fifth round pick.
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: 4.0
Body Control: 6.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.