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Mortenson Notes from Sportscenter (1 Viewer)

LHUCKS

Footballguy
Braylon Edwards and Ronnie Brown are two names that are "jumping out" from the Niners camp. Will consider trading #1 overall.Other notes:Matt Jones is best athlete in the draft..."freakish" talent. Stock is rising fast.

 
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LHUCKS

Footballguy
"I don't think he's taking a QB"...Saban would like to trade down..."otherwise I think he's looking at Ronnie Brown."Buccaneers, "If Braylon Edwards falls they will jump all over him". Gruden may also take one of the two QBs.Green, "wants a true cover corner or bigtime rb", "I think the Cardinals may be looking at Rolle or Pac Man Jones."

 

Rounders

Footballguy
"I don't think he's taking a QB"...Saban would like to trade down..."otherwise I think he's looking at Ronnie Brown."

Buccaneers, "If Braylon Edwards falls they will jump all over him". Gruden may also take one of the two QBs.

Green, "wants a true cover corner or bigtime rb", "I think the Cardinals may be looking at Rolle or Pac Man Jones."
Any more?
 

LHUCKS

Footballguy
"I don't think he's taking a QB"...Saban would like to trade down..."otherwise I think he's looking at Ronnie Brown."

Buccaneers, "If Braylon Edwards falls they will jump all over him".  Gruden may also take one of the two QBs.

Green, "wants a true cover corner or bigtime rb", "I think the Cardinals may be looking at Rolle or Pac Man Jones."
Any more?
That was it concerning the draft.
 

LHUCKS

Footballguy
Some commentary on the comments from Mort:I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.I think the Cards would be wise to take Henry and draft a DB. If Edwards went #1 overall to the Niners, that would make Rattay very enticing.I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.

 
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Fallerjw

Footballguy
Some commentary on the comments from Mort:

I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.

I think the Cards would be wise to take Henry and draft a DB.

If Edwards went #1 overall to the Niners, that would make Rattay very enticing.

I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.
Agreed about Gruden's smoke screen. I think he really wants a WR or RB
 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
Some commentary on the comments from Mort:

I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.

I think the Cards would be wise to take Henry and draft a DB.

If Edwards went #1 overall to the Niners, that would make Rattay very enticing.

I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.
Agreed on the Gruden angle, I think he's taking either Caddy Williams or one of the WRs, and he'll probably have the choice of 2 of them when he picks.
 

pgreenfan

Footballguy
I agree on the Matt Jones issue. I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.

 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
I agree on the Matt Jones issue.  I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.

 
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Bob Magaw

Footballguy
I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.
brown is somewhat of an unknown commodity, obviously...he is not as elusive as cadillac...

but he is nearly 30 lbs heavier

is faster than caddy (brown can supposedly clock a sub-4.4)

didn't get injured as often at auburn (he didn't run as much, either, in fairness to williams)

is said to block better

& also catches the ball better (gruden, in fact said he had the best hands of ANYBODY in the draft, WR included... though, imo, he goes over the top at times :^)

not saying brown is better, but in the skills dept., he might be more pro ready (can run, block & catch), & in the measurables dept., some scouts may think he has a greater chance of being a special RB because he is a size speed freak.

i haven't seen a lot of film on him, but i think he is more than a big/fast dude... what i saw, he looked shiftier than tj duckett.

 
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Jason Wood

Zoo York
I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.
brown is somewhat of an unknown commodity, obviously...he is not as elusive as cadillac...

but he is nearly 30 lbs heavier

is faster than caddy (brown can supposedly clock a sub-4.4)

didn't get injured as often at auburn (he didn't run as much, either, in fairness to williams)

is said to block better

& also catches the ball better (gruden, in fact said he had the best hands of ANYBODY in the draft, WR included... though, imo, he goes over the top at times :^)

not saying brown is better, but in the skills dept., he might be more pro ready (can run, block & catch), & in the measurables dept., some scouts may think he has a greater chance of being a special RB because he is a size speed freak.

i haven't seen a lot of film on him, but i think he is more than a big/fast dude... what i saw, he looked shiftier than tj duckett.
Clearly Brown's freakish athleticism (i.e., his speed and size combination) put him atop the "Big 3" following the combine. But it's his excellent blocking and receiving ability which make him the surest bet of the Big 3 to be an immediate starter for whatever team drafts him. I'm a big Benson fan, but he's been characterized as a "disinterested" blocker by scouts and, because of the UT offense, not a seasoned receiver. Caddy Williams wasn't perceived to be a great receiver coming out of Auburn, but really suprised people with his route running and soft hands at the Senior Bowl.
 

pgreenfan

Footballguy
I agree on the Matt Jones issue.  I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.
Valid point Jason... he could end up another Mike Mamula combine freak gametime bust.
 

Draftnik

Footballguy
One thing that Jones offers is the ability to eat two roster spots. He could serve as a #3 QB (he had a pretty nice career playing in arguably the best NCAA conference) while learning the WR/TE ropes.I think he's worth a first day pick and still think someone will cheat up into the second to take him. He could potentially create game planning headaches for D coordinators out there.

 

Kleck.

Footballguy
Some commentary on the comments from Mort:

I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.

I think the Cards would be wise to take Henry and draft a DB.

If Edwards went #1 overall to the Niners, that would make Rattay very enticing.

I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.
I agree on it all, except maybe with TB taking a QB. I don't think they need one at 1.05, but if Rodgers or Smith were there it would be hard to pass up. I'm also definitely not sold of Griese or Simms.
 

tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two. He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.I think he'll go at the end of round 1.

 

LHUCKS

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two.  He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Not really Wood, Mort said that Jones is creeping into the early 2nd, maybe even the late first. Sorry if I forgot that.
 

Kleck.

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two.  He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Not really Wood, Mort said that Jones is creeping into the early 2nd, maybe even the late first. Sorry if I forgot that.
Kiper had said a similar thing last week too. Also, Matt Jones was on the Huddle with Sean Salsbury and John Clayton last Saturday and Clayton had said that many teams were interested in him and that he wouldn't be surprised if Jones went late 1st. Salsbury and Clayton both agreed that he's the best athlete in the draft and gave him Urlacher comparisons (athletic wise).
 

diesel7982

Footballguy
Some commentary on the comments from Mort:

I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.

I think the Cards would be wise to take Henry and draft a DB. 

If Edwards went #1 overall to the Niners, that would make Rattay very enticing.

I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.
I agree on it all, except maybe with TB taking a QB. I don't think they need one at 1.05, but if Rodgers or Smith were there it would be hard to pass up. I'm also definitely not sold of Griese or Simms.
Whether or not you are sold on Griese/Simms, Tampa seems to be...Griese at least. No way they can justify the cap expenditure at the QB position with the 3 of them on the roster.
 

tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two. He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Gamble much? A friendly twenty amongst old friends always makes things more interesting. :D I say Jones goes top 40 fo-sho.I think Jones is being sold short by the general public (ie most of us at FBG). His measurables blow Hines Ward and Randel-El out of the water. I didn't even realize he played basketball until a few days ago. Scouts don't care - 6'6, 240, 4.37 is an extremely rare package. He played WR as a freshmen, so that should help the transition.

Can't say I'd be angry if the Chargers rolled the dice on him at 28 if they go defense or Barron at 12. The Steelers at 30 is my guess; their success with Ward and Randle-El as well as their need for a deep threat and a red zone monster make them a perfect match. Hell, at worst Jones moves to TE and is perhaps the fastest TE in the game.

 
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diesel7982

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two.  He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Gamble much? A friendly twenty amongst old friends always makes things more interesting. :D I say Jones goes top 40 fo-sho.I think Jones is being sold short by the general public (ie most of us at FBG). His measurables blow Hines Ward and Randel-El out of the water. I didn't even realize he played basketball until a few days ago. Scouts don't care - 6'6, 240, 4.37 is an extremely rare package. He played WR as a freshmen, so that should help the transition.

Can't say I'd be angry if the Chargers rolled the dice on him at 28 if they go defense or Barron at 12. The Steelers at 30 is my guess; their success with Ward and Randle-El as well as their need for a deep threat and a red zone monster make them a perfect match. Hell, at worst Jones moves to TE and is perhaps the fastest TE in the game.
And the worst blocking TE
 

tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two. He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Gamble much? A friendly twenty amongst old friends always makes things more interesting. :D I say Jones goes top 40 fo-sho.I think Jones is being sold short by the general public (ie most of us at FBG). His measurables blow Hines Ward and Randel-El out of the water. I didn't even realize he played basketball until a few days ago. Scouts don't care - 6'6, 240, 4.37 is an extremely rare package. He played WR as a freshmen, so that should help the transition.

Can't say I'd be angry if the Chargers rolled the dice on him at 28 if they go defense or Barron at 12. The Steelers at 30 is my guess; their success with Ward and Randle-El as well as their need for a deep threat and a red zone monster make them a perfect match. Hell, at worst Jones moves to TE and is perhaps the fastest TE in the game.
And the worst blocking TE
Agreed. He'd be a nightmare to cover on play action from the 10 yard line though. A 6-6 rebounder knows how to go up and get the ball in the end zone.Definitely a risk. Separation and hands questions remain, but those measurables are mind boggling.

 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two.  He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Gamble much? A friendly twenty amongst old friends always makes things more interesting. :D I say Jones goes top 40 fo-sho.I think Jones is being sold short by the general public (ie most of us at FBG). His measurables blow Hines Ward and Randel-El out of the water. I didn't even realize he played basketball until a few days ago. Scouts don't care - 6'6, 240, 4.37 is an extremely rare package. He played WR as a freshmen, so that should help the transition.

Can't say I'd be angry if the Chargers rolled the dice on him at 28 if they go defense or Barron at 12. The Steelers at 30 is my guess; their success with Ward and Randle-El as well as their need for a deep threat and a red zone monster make them a perfect match. Hell, at worst Jones moves to TE and is perhaps the fastest TE in the game.
I don't see how any draftnik isn't impressed by the kid's measurables, they are off the charts. But projecting Urlacher to be a dominant LB when he was a dominant college safety is MUCH EASIER than projecting a speedy college QB is going to turn into the next freakish pass-catching TE.I see him going very late 2nd, early 3rd at the earliest. So yes, if you want to bet that he goes top 40 for a $20 spot, you're on.

 

ravnzfan

Footballguy
I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.
Agreed about Gruden's smoke screen. I think he really wants a WR or RB
and with his propensity to live w/RBBC, I'm more inclined than ever in thinking it is MWilliams to TB
 

Kleck.

Footballguy
Some commentary on the comments from Mort:

I still don't understand the love affair with Brown, the guy wasn't even the starter on his own squad.

I think the Cards would be wise to take Henry and draft a DB. 

If Edwards went #1 overall to the Niners, that would make Rattay very enticing.

I don't believe that Gruden would take one of the QBs...that's a smokescreen if you ask me.
I agree on it all, except maybe with TB taking a QB. I don't think they need one at 1.05, but if Rodgers or Smith were there it would be hard to pass up. I'm also definitely not sold of Griese or Simms.
Whether or not you are sold on Griese/Simms, Tampa seems to be...Griese at least. No way they can justify the cap expenditure at the QB position with the 3 of them on the roster.
Griese's restructured contract was made to give relief now and also a possiblity to be altered after the 1st or 2nd year if needed. Probably too early to give up on Simms, but his 3 year rookie contarct is hardly a cap problem. If it is I don't see how. I do agree though that a top 5 rookie QB contact added to what Griese is making is quite a bit to be paying that position. As for Tampa being sold on Griese and Simms, I'm not as sure as others I guess. I don't think Grese's job is in jeopardy now or possibly next year either, but I don't quite feel Simms as the future is set in stone. Bruce Allen has said that the team is interested in signing a vet QB. Most likely to back-up Griese until Simms is ready, if ever, for the #2 spot. Which is probably why Jeff Garcia was offered a contract to be the #2 after his physical with the team and declined. Bruse Allen has also said they will probably enter camp with 4 QB's. Most teams do so that's really not anything surprising, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of those 4 came from the draft and actually pushed Simms for the future job.

 

nightshift

Footballguy
I agree on the Matt Jones issue. I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.
He'll be a Steeler. This guy has COWHER written all over him. The new TE for Pittsburgh.:stillers:

 

Kleck.

Footballguy
This morning as I watch Sports Center I heard Mort's comments again and picked up on something I thought was funny that I must have missed last night or missed reading here. Mort had said that the 49ers feel that the top 5 picks in this draft are better than the top 5 last year. Nothing like trying to increase the value of that #1 by trying to talk it up. I guess they have to try. :D

 

radballs.

Footballguy
This morning as I watch Sports Center I heard Mort's comments again and picked up on something I thought was funny that I must have missed last night or missed reading here. Mort had said that the 49ers feel that the top 5 picks in this draft are better than the top 5 last year. Nothing like trying to increase the value of that #1 by trying to talk it up. I guess they have to try. :D
For FF purposes, they ARE.
 

Bob Henry

Footballguy
I agree on the Matt Jones issue.  I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.
You are right Jason, but the majority of people thought and said the same about Antonio Gates. I personally believe Jones will be a very solid pro for a long, long time.. it's just a matter of where he ends up playing. I'd love to see him settle into an offense in sort of a Jay Novacek fashion, but he could easily develop into a solid WR as well. From everything I've seen and read (and I admit, it's limited) I think he's a guy you can chalk up as a true football player. He makes plays. He understands and knows the game. With some coaching he could be the best value in the entire draft in 3 years from now.. I remember people openly doubting whether Jevon Kearse could make the switch to DE or Brian Urlacher going from S to LB.. or Adam Archuleta from LB to S.

It's a crap shoot, but I personally like to error on the side of uber athleticism. You can't coach speed, but you can coach technique, etc.

 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
I agree on the Matt Jones issue.  I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.
You are right Jason, but the majority of people thought and said the same about Antonio Gates. I personally believe Jones will be a very solid pro for a long, long time.. it's just a matter of where he ends up playing. I'd love to see him settle into an offense in sort of a Jay Novacek fashion, but he could easily develop into a solid WR as well. From everything I've seen and read (and I admit, it's limited) I think he's a guy you can chalk up as a true football player. He makes plays. He understands and knows the game. With some coaching he could be the best value in the entire draft in 3 years from now.. I remember people openly doubting whether Jevon Kearse could make the switch to DE or Brian Urlacher going from S to LB.. or Adam Archuleta from LB to S.

It's a crap shoot, but I personally like to error on the side of uber athleticism. You can't coach speed, but you can coach technique, etc.
Hey Bob, You bring up valid points too but consider: Archuleta, Urlacher and Kearse were all DOMINANT at their collegiate positions, Jones was not. He was an ultra athletic but highly flawed QB. There's MUCH more uncertainty in projecting his game.

Full disclosure, Rob Rang at NFL Draft Scout contends that he's got people inside the Lions organization who are targeting Jones potentially in the 2nd round. That would be pick 41, winning the bet for me but oh-so-slightly. :)

 

Clayton Gray

Just call me Carlton
Staff member
I agree on the Matt Jones issue.  I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.
Jones was asked how he felt about playing WR. He said something like, "all you do is go catch the ball...how hard is it to catch a ball." Watching the clips from the Senior Bowl practices makes me agree with him.I am not an ex-Hog bandwagon kind of guy, but Jones is as much of a can't miss prospect as I've ever seen. The real deal.

 

GreedoShotFirst

Footballguy
in case you missed it: FYI-it says Insider but it is up as free content.Former QB expected to play WR/H-backBy Chris Mortensen, ESPN InsiderChris Mortensen ArchiveEditor's note: Chris Mortensen's son, Alex, is a redshirt freshman quarterback at Arkansas in competition for Matt Jones' vacant position. Steve Young, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, has long told me that one of these days there will be a football player so unique, so gifted and so different that he will cause some consternation among the NFL types who judge and coach the most talented football players in the world. "And it's going to be up to those people, especially some offensive coordinator, to think outside the box and figure out what to do with a guy like that," Young said. He didn't know it at the time, but Young was talking about someone available in the 2005 NFL draft -- a guy I believe is the best player in the draft. Matt Jones is that player. Yes, the Arkansas quarterback NFL evaluators have been struggling to figure out. Some have called him the most "intriguing" player in the draft. Or, as one personnel director asked me last week, "How's The Freak?" Jones is a freak. Let's just remind you of his measurables again, as now officially recorded from his scouting combine and pro day workouts. Height: 6-6¼Weight: 24240 time (hand-timed): 4.37 and 4.3940 time (electronic): 4.40Vertical jump: 39.5 inchesStanding broad jump: 10 feet, 9 inches Let me explain how to translate some of these numbers because Jones, for the most part, is being projected as a receiver/H-back instead of a quarterback. Based on watching Jones perform during Senior Bowl week, when he unabashedly exposed himself to playing receiver, scouts wondered about one or two things: Was he quick and explosive enough to play outside? Honestly, if Jones was not as quick as they wanted that week, it was attributed to the fact that he was playing a new position. Give him four months to work on nothing but receiver, and you'll see plenty of quickness. Trust me. That's what the vertical and broad jump measure: Explosiveness. Jones was among the very top athletes. He is quick. He is explosive. He also had one of the fastest 10-yard times while running his 40. His short cone drills and shuttles were just as impressive. His hands? I think he has the best hands in the draft. He's a basketball player, gifted enough after his junior football season at Arkansas to earn a starting spot on the basketball team within two weeks of his late arrival. "We charted every pass thrown to him during the Senior Bowl week, and [he] caught all but one," one personnel director said. So, as a receiver, he's bigger than Southern California's Mike Williams, he's faster, he's more explosive and he might have better hands. Some NFL teams have tried to peg him as a tight end or H-back because of his size. Jones has been truthful with NFL teams that have spoken with him. He's reluctant to play tight end. "You know, it's funny," one AFC head coach told me last week. "We asked [Jones] about putting on some weight and playing tight end, and he made it clear that he thought it was foolish. He said, 'So you want me to put on 20 pounds and be a 4.57 guy instead of a 4.37 guy?' When you put that into context, you have to admit he makes sense. Match up a 6-6 guy who is that fast and athletic with great hands on any corner – even the tall ones – and how do you stop him?" It was evident during the NFL meetings last week in Hawaii that Jones is perhaps the fastest riser in the draft. Because of his position switch, he had been labeled as a second-day pick, probably a fourth-round selection. He's not going on the second day. He's a better bet to go in the top half of the second round, and he could slip into the bottom third of the first round. "How do you ignore him?" one AFC general manager said. "He's the best athlete in the draft. It may not even be close. Honestly, he's the most mesmerizing player I've ever evaluated." I laughed when all the official numbers came in. Selfishly, they made me look good. When I spoke with a personnel man last fall about Jones, I asked him, "What are you going to do when he runs 4.4 at the combine?" The personnel man replied, "Well, he's not going to do that." Yeah, go ahead, just keep doubting him. As far as anyone knows, there's never been a 6-6 guy or a 242-pounder who ran 4.37 in the 40. Jones is both 6-6 and 242 pounds. Some have warned of "workout" warriors, citing Mike Mamula of Boston College as one who fooled everyone about his NFL potential with gaudy workout numbers. Mamula is a bad example to bring up when talking about Jones, though. For one, I would hardly classify Jones as a workout warrior. He could get out of bed and run 4.4. Better than that, he was one of the most productive players in the history of the Southeastern Conference and basically was even-steven with Young, the BYU flash, as a player with one of the highest yards-per-play average in NCAA history. For the past four years, SEC coaches and defenders have marveled at Jones' freakish ability to make plays – his 2,545 rushing yards set an SEC career mark for quarterbacks. "He was the best player in the SEC the past two years," said Ron Zook, the ex-Florida coach now at Illinois. "Now that's a mouthful. Think about the guys who have played in the SEC the past couple of years." Quickly, the names of Auburn's Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams, among so many others, leaped into my mind. The SEC is loaded with NFL-caliber players. LSU coach Nick Saban said, "Matt Jones single-handedly won more games than any player in the SEC." South Carolina coach Lou Holtz called Jones the "MVP" of the SEC. Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom said, "I'm pretty sure I never have seen one like him, and I coached in [the NFL] for a lot of years. I'd take him, and … real high." Zook added, "Here's the thing about Matt Jones that people seem to forget because he is such a freak. He is one of the most productive players I've ever seen. It's all about productivity, and the bottom line is, this guy always makes plays and he makes' em when it counts and he makes 'em against everybody else's best players. He's a winner, he's productive and he's a freak. Our guys at Florida will tell you they never saw anything like him before and probably never will again." Florida linebacker Channing Crowder, who should be a first-rounder next month, called Jones "a blazer, unbelievably fast," and nose guard Tommy Jackson said watching film of Jones and then stepping on the field against him was a lifetime experience. "It's amazing that a guy that big, that strong and that fast is all in one person," Jackson said. "It's not fair." Georgia coach Mark Richt called Jones the most deceptively fast player he had ever seen. "On any given day, he could be the most dangerous player on the field, " Richt said. "You try to take good angles on the guy, and he's still past you." Back to production. Arkansas quarterback coach Roy Wittke provided statistics that show Jones had 88 planned runs of 10 yards or more, 10 that were 50-plus yards. That didn't even count his 2004 stats, in which he had 33 scrambles on broken pass plays for 377 yards, an 11.4-yard average per carry. When Saban said Jones "single-handedly" won more games than any player in the SEC, he also might have meant that Jones made almost every game competitive, even the defeats. He was the only returning starter on the Arkansas offense in 2004. The Razorbacks were just 5-6, the first losing season for coach Houston Nutt. But Jones kept the team alive in near misses against Texas, Georgia and Florida. "This guy can make a play on you when you're doing as good as you can do," Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines said. "Texas had some pretty good people on the field, and they never laid a glove on him." In fact, when legendary ABC play-by-play man Keith Jackson marveled over Vince Young's splendid performance in Texas' Rose Bowl win over Michigan, he wondered what planet Young was from and whether he had ever seen anybody like him. I chuckled. I had seen Jones, who was bigger, faster, more athletic and had a better arm than Young in their meeting when Texas squeaked out a 22-20 win over Arkansas early in the season. That night, Jones was again the best player on a field that included Young, not to mention Cedric Benson and Derrick Johnson, two Longhorns projected to go in the top 12 of next month's draft. Jones was even more productive running the ball from the quarterback spot than Michael Vick was at Virginia Tech. Yet, even though Jones is more than a half-foot taller than Vick with almost identical 40 times (Vick ran a hand-timed 4.37 at his first mini-camp with the Falcons), NFL scouts have all but dismissed Jones as a quarterback prospect because he is unorthodox while Vick obviously throws lasers. I think I'm OK with that thinking. Jones has a troubled right shoulder, which was hurt in his freshman year shortly after basketball season. The shoulder never allowed Jones to work at high volume at quarterback during practice, and it might have limited the team's passing game. But he still was pretty effective throwing the ball: He threw for almost 6,000 yards and 53 touchdowns in his career. There is one other part of Jones that bothers some scouts. It's his somewhat lackadaisical body language. "Nonchalant" is what I've heard. Does he really love the game? Does it really matter to him? Well, go back to that Texas game. Jones fumbled inside the Texas 20-yard line on an extra effort scramble in the final minutes. Arkansas probably wins the game if he doesn't fumble. He cried hard in a closed locker room after the game. His heart was broken. A few weeks later, Arkansas got throttled by undefeated Auburn 38-20. It wasn't an upset, but when a few Arkansas players were a little too jovial on Jones' bus after the game, he snapped at them. Doesn't care? This is also a guy who passed up basketball – a game he truly loves – in his senior year to get ready for the NFL. True, Jones is different. But that gene, or whatever it is, that projects this "nonchalance" is the same one that allowed him as a child to sleep through a tornado that ravaged his house in Fort Smith, Ark., according to his dad, Steve, who also was Matt's high school coach. It's the same calming gene that allowed Jones to thrive under pressure as a collegiate player. “ How do you ignore him? He's the best athlete in the draft. It may not even be close. Honestly, he's the most mesmerizing player I've ever evaluated.” —A general manager from an AFC club Nutt, who admits Jones' personality tested him at times, loves to tell how Jones almost put him over the edge in the final minute of Arkansas' SEC West championship game against LSU in 2002. LSU led 20-13 with less than a minute to play. LSU was about to punt as Nutt sought out his quarterback. "There he was, sitting back alone by the Gatorade, towel over his head, and as I get closer to him, Matt's singing to himself, or humming, 'do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do,'" Nutt says, recalling the hilarity of the moment. "I tell Matt, 'Come on, Matt, a little urgency here. We've got 37 seconds left, we gotta get the plays called, get in and out of the huddle, and get it done.'" Jones looked at Nutt. "No problem, coach," Jones said. "I got it." Jones, who at that point was 2-of-13 passing against Saban's talented, tenacious defense, got the ball at his own 20. In three plays, including two perfectly thrown passes -- the latter a 31-yarder to Decori Birmingham with nine seconds left -- Jones led Arkansas for 80 yards in a stunning 21-20 victory that propelled the Razorbacks to the SEC title game. "Darndest thing I ever saw," Nutt said. Some athletes are just more graceful than others. Joe DiMaggio made baseball look easy. Pete Rose made it look like work. Jones is more DiMaggio than Rose. Back to Steve Young's precept that it will take an offensive coordinator with the brains and brawn to use the gifts of a once-in-a-lifetime athlete best. The red zone, whether you put the ball in Jones' hands as a receiver or a quarterback, would seem to be one obvious frontier. Arkansas led the SEC in red zone scoring with 87.5 percent efficiency in 2004, and most of those scores were touchdowns. The Razorbacks also had uncanny success and drama playing overtime games. In fact, Jones arrived on the national scene as a true freshman when he locked horns with Eli Manning in a classic seven-overtime game in which Arkansas beat Ole Miss 58-56. As a junior he led the Razorbacks to another seven-overtime win, 71-63 over Kentucky. College overtimes are basically red zone games. The ball is given to each team at the opponents' 25. "I just know this," Nutt said. "You put the ball [in] the kid's hands in those situations and he's going to find a way to win the game at any level. Red zone, or whatever. On any given play, he can run or pass for 80 yards." Matt Jones won't be among the top 10 players selected in the April 23-24 draft, but I will venture to say that he'll play in more Pro Bowls than almost any of those guys. And I will laugh, knowing I told you so.

 

GreedoShotFirst

Footballguy
WOW, methinks Mort has serious Man Love for Jones :eek:

I know it's the slow part of his year but hyperbole much?
Mort is just kissing up so that Jones will put in a good word for his kid to take over the QB gig at Arkansas.
 

Bojang0301

Omar4Heisman
WOW, methinks Mort has serious Man Love for Jones :eek:

I know it's the slow part of his year but hyperbole much?
There isn't much talent at TE in this draft and the WR's outside of MWilliams, BEdwards and MClayton appear to be pretty raw (yes, Williamson was deliberatly left out). When WR's and TE's usually take 3 years to develop anyway I don't see what the problem with drafting a physical freak like this is.
 

gump

Footballguy
I can tell you that I've watched Matt Jones play ALOT, both in person and on tv, being an Alabama fan.I am REALLY HAPPY to seem him graduate. He was one of those guys that makes your jaw drop. Complete freak of nature.

 

tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two.  He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Gamble much? A friendly twenty amongst old friends always makes things more interesting. :D I say Jones goes top 40 fo-sho.I think Jones is being sold short by the general public (ie most of us at FBG). His measurables blow Hines Ward and Randel-El out of the water. I didn't even realize he played basketball until a few days ago. Scouts don't care - 6'6, 240, 4.37 is an extremely rare package. He played WR as a freshmen, so that should help the transition.

Can't say I'd be angry if the Chargers rolled the dice on him at 28 if they go defense or Barron at 12. The Steelers at 30 is my guess; their success with Ward and Randle-El as well as their need for a deep threat and a red zone monster make them a perfect match. Hell, at worst Jones moves to TE and is perhaps the fastest TE in the game.
I don't see how any draftnik isn't impressed by the kid's measurables, they are off the charts. But projecting Urlacher to be a dominant LB when he was a dominant college safety is MUCH EASIER than projecting a speedy college QB is going to turn into the next freakish pass-catching TE.I see him going very late 2nd, early 3rd at the earliest. So yes, if you want to bet that he goes top 40 for a $20 spot, you're on.
Sweet. If the Lions grab him at 41, you're the man. Anytime before that I win.:spitsonhandandshakes:

 

Jason Wood

Zoo York
Matt Jones won't make it to the middle of round two.  He'll be off the boards by pick 40, at the latest.

I think he'll go at the end of round 1.
:rolleyes: Hype much?
Gamble much? A friendly twenty amongst old friends always makes things more interesting. :D I say Jones goes top 40 fo-sho.I think Jones is being sold short by the general public (ie most of us at FBG). His measurables blow Hines Ward and Randel-El out of the water. I didn't even realize he played basketball until a few days ago. Scouts don't care - 6'6, 240, 4.37 is an extremely rare package. He played WR as a freshmen, so that should help the transition.

Can't say I'd be angry if the Chargers rolled the dice on him at 28 if they go defense or Barron at 12. The Steelers at 30 is my guess; their success with Ward and Randle-El as well as their need for a deep threat and a red zone monster make them a perfect match. Hell, at worst Jones moves to TE and is perhaps the fastest TE in the game.
I don't see how any draftnik isn't impressed by the kid's measurables, they are off the charts. But projecting Urlacher to be a dominant LB when he was a dominant college safety is MUCH EASIER than projecting a speedy college QB is going to turn into the next freakish pass-catching TE.I see him going very late 2nd, early 3rd at the earliest. So yes, if you want to bet that he goes top 40 for a $20 spot, you're on.
Sweet. If the Lions grab him at 41, you're the man. Anytime before that I win.:spitsonhandandshakes:
I'll stop short of swearing a blood oath, but this bet is officially ON. :yes:
 

pgreenfan

Footballguy
The Dallas Cowboys select Matt Jones WR/TE from the University of Arkansas... Man I would love to hear that in Round 2. That would make him a WR with Witten already at TE but I just think his upside is great enough that he is worth the gamble.

 
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tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Gotta believe a LOT of GMs are scratching their head right now. Jones' price tag is soaring 2 weeks before the draft.If the Bills can take a chance at 23 on a RB with a mangled knee, why won't another team in that pick range take a chance on a red zone monster like Jones?Holmgren could use a red zone weapon at 23. Lelie isn't a threat in the red zone, and after losing Putzer, does Shanny jump at 25? Think Mike Vick couldn't use Jones in the dirty South at 27?Again, I think he's off the board to the Steelers at 30. If he's still there...

 

Evilgrin 72

Distributor of Pain
Woodrow, Sirius NFL radio this morning said that they can easily see Jones going at #31 to the Eagles. Pure speculation, I would imagine, but apparently one of the guys had heard rumor that there was some interest there. Take this all with a large grain of salt, of course, but you never know....

 

tommyGunZ

Footballguy
Woodrow, Sirius NFL radio this morning said that they can easily see Jones going at #31 to the Eagles. Pure speculation, I would imagine, but apparently one of the guys had heard rumor that there was some interest there. Take this all with a large grain of salt, of course, but you never know....
:rotflmao: If the Eagles win this wager for me, Wood should have to pay double.

 

Bob Henry

Footballguy
I agree on the Matt Jones issue.  I don't understand how a WR can vault himself by posting crazy numbers at the combine ( Roddy White ) but someone with Jones size posting numbers like he did at the combine doesn't get into the late 1st round- early 2nd.
Because playing the position involves more than being athletic. If speed and athleticism were the main keys, Renaldo Nehemiah would've been better than Jerry Rice. Jones had NEVER played the position before the combine, he's essentially a walk on at the NFL level who will, at best, need a few years to develop. To pay 1st/2nd round money for a guy like that is bad business.I've seen Jones, watched his combine workout, and am aware of the buzz. I think a team that has depth and can stow him away might have the next Drew Bennett/Eric Johnson on their hands, but they just as easily might have a guy without an NFL position.
You are right Jason, but the majority of people thought and said the same about Antonio Gates. I personally believe Jones will be a very solid pro for a long, long time.. it's just a matter of where he ends up playing. I'd love to see him settle into an offense in sort of a Jay Novacek fashion, but he could easily develop into a solid WR as well. From everything I've seen and read (and I admit, it's limited) I think he's a guy you can chalk up as a true football player. He makes plays. He understands and knows the game. With some coaching he could be the best value in the entire draft in 3 years from now.. I remember people openly doubting whether Jevon Kearse could make the switch to DE or Brian Urlacher going from S to LB.. or Adam Archuleta from LB to S.

It's a crap shoot, but I personally like to error on the side of uber athleticism. You can't coach speed, but you can coach technique, etc.
Hey Bob, You bring up valid points too but consider: Archuleta, Urlacher and Kearse were all DOMINANT at their collegiate positions, Jones was not. He was an ultra athletic but highly flawed QB. There's MUCH more uncertainty in projecting his game.

Full disclosure, Rob Rang at NFL Draft Scout contends that he's got people inside the Lions organization who are targeting Jones potentially in the 2nd round. That would be pick 41, winning the bet for me but oh-so-slightly. :)
Agreed.. though I don't think Hines Ward or Bert Emanuel were necessarily elite QBs in college either. They were obviously tantalizing athletes from a scouting perspective, but not top drawer QBs. Randle-El is a different story. He was nothing short of elite, despite the Hoosiers team stinking as a whole. My point is that I think QB is a much more difficult position to play, but if you have the intelligence to be a good QB and the athleticism to be (theoretically) a top drawer WR then I don't think the transition is as hard as other positional changes. In other sports like basketball being a tweener (SG/SF or SF/PF) is more of a kiss of death then it is in this particular case. Size, speed and intelligence goes a long way. I don't think Jones will be as much of a project player as a WR as some think. TE is a different story and blocking is crucial. I just think I'd rather see him at WR. From a fantasy perspective, TE would give him the most impact potential like Gates, but that would be a more difficult transition.I picked Jones at 41 in the latest FBG mock I was in representing the Lions. I just couldn't look past him given the talent at other positions on the board.

What might be more interesting to watch is how much higher Jones goes in dynasty leagues AFTER the NFL draft compared to now. I have a feeling that by August he'll be a prime target in many such leagues with rookie drafts.

 
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Draftnik

Footballguy
Thanks for the article, Skinsfan.I was roasted (albeit mildly) here shortly after the combine as being blinded by the measureables for suggesting that Jones could go in the late second.My opinion was not solely based on measureables, but also by the fact that I had seen this guy play several times and he is a COMPETITOR. He's used to not only playing hurt, but playing effectively while hurt.Steve Young is right, it will take a good OC to maximize Jones' talents. It will also take a much stronger DC to neutralize them.

 

Bob Henry

Footballguy
Jones just need to get Drew Rosenhaus as his agent and he'd be guaranteed of going now lower than mid 2nd... ah heck, low 1st.. Do you think McGahee was a bigger gamble/risk with his injury or Jones with his lack of position. Both were/are obviously special talents physically.

 

Clayton Gray

Just call me Carlton
Staff member
Also, I want to clear up a misconception that many have on Jones. He has played WR in a game for the Razorbacks. I'm not sure how many practice reps he got there, but he has taken live snaps at WR.

 

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