(WTNH)–This offseason couldn’t possibly have gone better for UConn cornerback Byron Jones.
First, he set a new world record in the broad jump at the NFL Draft Combine in February. And now, thanks in large part to that performance, and his vertical jump of 44.5 inches, Jones has become one of the draft’s fastest-rising prospects.
On Wednesday, he was officially invited to attend the draft on April 30 in Chicago. The NFL only invites prospects it thinks will be selected in the first or second rounds of the event, so that they won’t have to wait for hours in the green room. Jones is projected as a top-50 pick in many mock drafts, and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has him going to the Patriots at No. 38.
NFL.com also lists Jones as one of its “most athletic prospects.”
It’s a big honor for Jones, who could become UConn’s second-ever first round pick (Donald Jones was taken at No. 27 in 2009). Huskies who have gone in the second round include Kendall Reyes (49th overall, 2012), Darius Butler (41st, 2009), Will Beatty (60th, 2009), and Cody Brown (63rd, 2009).
The 6-1, 199-pound defensive back made 37 starts in 43 career games at UConn, and started the first seven games of his senior year before undergoing season-ending surgery. He had 223 career tackles and eight interceptions.
Here is a complete list of NFL Draft attendees:
Arik Armstead, DL, Oregon; Vic Beasley, DE/LB, Clemson; La’el Collins, OL, LSUl; Landon Collins, S, Alabama; Bud Dupree, LB, Kentucky; Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State; Dante Fowler, DE/LB, Florida; Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin; Randy Gregory, DE/LB, Nebraska; Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia; D.J. Humphries, OL, Florida; Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest; Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut; Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State; Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M; DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville; Andrus Peat, OL, Stanford; Breshad Perriman, WR, Central Florida; Shane Ray, DL, Missouri; Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa; Danny Shelton, DL, Washington; Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State; Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State; Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State; Laken Tomlinson, OL, Duke; Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State; Kevin White, WR, West Virginia; Leonard Williams, DL, USC.
Oh, and here’s video of Jones’ jump. The boy is nasty: