(WTNH)–On Week 15 of the 2011 regular season, in a divisional game against the Tennessee Titans, Donald Brown rushed 16 times for 161 yards, and capped off the Indianapolis Colts’ first win of the season with an 80-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Dan Orlovsky also added 82 yards and a touchdown pass to earn the first Indy victory in the 14 years without Peyton Manning.
It has been a while since Husky nation has seen a player in the NFL who has performed to that magnitude. The wait may be over.
After his visit to the NFL combine, Byron Jones became widely recognized as an athletic specimen, and for good reason. Jones turned a lot of heads when he set the combine record…and the world record…for the broad jump, leaping 147 inches. He wasn’t done jumping after that, rising up to 44.5 inches on the vertical jump and three inches higher than any other player at his position.
Jones uses that athleticism to his advantage at the defensive back position. His speed and jumping ability is very effective in intercepting receiver routes. Jones is also a solid form tackler and has the potential to be a playmaker. As captain of the Huskies during his senior year, he has proven that he will not be a liability off the field.
Like any other player, Jones has some weaknesses. He may have the ability to touch the clouds, but he has shown difficulty in his quickness and change of direction which could be detrimental when defending the pass in the NFL. While Jones is a good form tackler, he is not an extremely physical player by nature. He will need to be much more aggressive if he wishes to be in the rotation on a professional team.
That being said, Jones is projected to be selected late in the first round anywhere from 22nd to 30th overall or early in the second round. According to the latest NFL mock drafts, Jones could most likely be selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team that certainly appreciates athletes with speed. With Pittsburgh in its rebuilding stage, Jones could make an early impact on defense.
Geremy Davis is essentially a slightly larger version of Hakeem Nicks the year he was drafted out of North Carolina:
Speaking of size and strength, Davis led all wide receivers at the NFL combine with 23 reps of 225 pounds. He can use his size to his advantage and make catches in traffic, though a major weakness for Davis is that he struggles to gain separation from corners that can match up against him. If Davis has any desire to play at the next level, he needs to do one of two things: work rigorously on improving his speed and quickness to eliminate his separation issue, or bulk up in the weight room, improve his blocking skills, and convert to a receiving tight end. Regardless of position, the more physical Davis becomes, the more likely an NFL team will decide to select him late in the draft.