The Huskies' defense is full of NFL talent, but Jones could be the highest-rated of them all. Washington has made a living recruiting out of California, and this Golden State native was almost an instant starter as a freshman (he started 12 of 13 games, two interceptions, seven pass break-ups). As a sophomore, league coaches named his first team all-conference after he led the Pac-12 with 14 pass break-ups in addition to picking off four passes and forcing three fumbles. While not knocking away as many passes in 2016 (six, also three INT), Jones was a first-team All-Pac 12 pick for the conference champions.
Competes all over the field. Doesn't play pitty-pat with his jam from press. Throws stiff lead right into the shoulder of receivers like a boxer. Maximizes contact with receivers within first five yards. Eyes are top notch. Balances between quarterback's eyes and his man from all off coverages. Ready to close on throws anywhere near his area. Route magnet. Pattern anticipation allows him to map receivers path and undercut route. Prioritizes ball over man and attacks catch point with slaps and rips. Has nine career interceptions and got a hand on 21.3 percent of balls thrown his way over last two seasons. Early ball tracker with length and leaping to attack the high point. Mirrors receiver acceleration out of their breaks. Twitchy feet for click-and-close transitions and instant change of direction from shuffle technique. Solid recovery quickness.
Tore his Achilles tendon at his pro day which will require an extensive rehab process. Carries slender frame. Needs to add upper body strength in preparation for NFL size. Was jostled around by JuJu Schuster-Smith out of press coverage and at the top of the route. Scouts like his quickness but worry about his ability to carry speed down the field. Gets impatient from press. Loses positioning by reaching and lunging to get hands on receiver rather than letting the release come to him. Can still improve his transition footwork. Fights his hips a little when flipping to change direction in open field. Physical receivers can wall him out of tackle action in run support.
Sources Tell Us
"I think he picked up all of (Marcus) Peters' good traits as a player without the personality defects. He marries that great FBI (football intelligence) with an explosive close-out and that will win in the pros just like it wins in college. You will always wish he was 198 pounds, but he won't be." -- NFC East regional scout
Jones is a "casino cornerback" who has the ball skills and instincts to tilt the odds in his favor when quarterbacks look his way. His toughness and desire to make plays on the ball are remarkably similar to his friend and off-season workout buddy, Marcus Peters. Jones has lockdown corner talent but unfortunately, teams will have to wrestle with his draft positioning as there is no guarantee that Jones can come back with the same quickness and speed as before.