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2015 NFL Draft Profile: Byron Jones, Connecticut cornerback

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Could the Eagles target an athletic cornerback in the first round?

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback position has been a revolving door for the Eagles over the last several years and for the most part, that's been due to free agency. That said, the team may want to change its strategy when it comes to filling that area of the depth chart. The team could look to target a cornerback earlier than they have in previous years. UConn cornerback Byron Jones could be an option in the first round.

College Career

A native of New Britain, Conn., Jones committed to UConn and redshirted in 2010. In 2011, Jones played in 12 games (eight starts) and produced 51 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions. In 2012, Jones started all 12 games at safety and collected 88 tackles and one interception.

As a redshirt junior, Jones started all 12 games at cornerback, which led to 60 tackles and three interceptions. Last season, Jones appeared and started in seven games. He produced 24 tackles and two interceptions before being lost to a shoulder injury for the season.

Combine Numbers

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 199 lbs.

Arm Length: 32 inches

Hands: 10 inches

Vertical Jump: 44.5 inches (1st among cornerbacks in 2015)

Broad Jump: 147 inches (1st among cornerbacks in 2015)

3 Cone: 6.78 secs. (3rd among cornerbacks in 2015)

Shuttle: 3.94 secs. (3rd among cornerbacks in 2015)

Strengths

Jones uses his hands well and has good arm length. A physical corner who can play off or in press, Jones drives on the ball very well. He stays pretty even in coverage consistently. He has terrific hips and shows good change of direction. Jones has good vision with the ball in the air.

He is a willing participant against the run. He's not afraid of contact and is willing to take on ball-carriers. He was used on special teams.

Weaknesses

He runs a bit upright and will lose balance at times. He is coming off a shoulder injury which made him miss half of his senior season. He's not the most polished tackler and needs to work on his technique. He can play hesitant at times.

Eagles Outlook

The Eagles may need to address cornerback early despite signing Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond this offseason. Jones would likely be a long-term solution for the Eagles, especially if he was able to show the talent he did at the Combine and at Connecticut. His measurables fit what the Eagles want, so he could be their guy at No. 20.

Note that the Eagles have shown a lot of pre-draft interest in Jones. Chip Kelly (and others) attended his pro day, the team hosted him on a pre-draft visit, and they've worked him out privately. There's also a rumor that they really like him at No. 20.

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