The Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent Cayleb Jones shortly after the 2016 NFL Draft. In order to learn more about the new Eagles pass catcher, I reached out to SB Nation's Arizona Wildcats blog: Arizona Desert Swarm. Managing editor Jason Bartel (@jasonbartel) was kind enough to answer questions about Jones.
1) What are his strengths?
"I feel his biggest asset will be his size, and he knows how to use it. Over and over again, you would see him take advantage of a smaller corner covering him, and come up with a huge play for the Wildcats. His hands are typically pretty good too. Towards the end of the 2014 season, he was actually playing with a broken bone in his hand, so there were more drops in that final third of the year than what is typical for him.
I don't know if this exactly qualifies as a strength, but he would always play his best late in close games. Without Jones making enormous plays in the final minutes of tight games, there's no way Arizona wins the Pac-12 South in 2014."
2 - What are his weaknesses?
"Route running. That's been the biggest question mark with him since he got to Tucson, and Arizona WR coach Tony Dews never made any secret of that. If Jones was going up against one of the better corners in the league, he would struggle to get open, because he was unable to make moves that would create some separation. Basically he was at his best when running a go route or a hook. I'd also argue that he gets frustrated easily, and took some really unnecessary penalties in games that he was struggling to produce."
3) Were you surprised to see him go undrafted?
"I was not. You could argue that he regressed in his junior season, and still decided to declare for the Draft after that dip in production. He doesn't do anything that really jumps out at you either, so the fact that he got buried in the group of WRs was not surprising to me at all. Plus there were the character issues that came up, which we'll get into next."
4) Jones was charged with felony aggravated assault at Texas. The charges were reduced and he transferred to Arizona. Did he manage to learn from his mistake and stay out of trouble while at Arizona?
"I would say for the most part, yes, this is true. There has been talk that he wasn't the greatest locker room guy, and there have also been rumors that he wasn't exactly following team rules on the Fiesta Bowl trip. The one thing that publicly happened was when he was involved in a car accident with current Detroit Piston Stanley Johnson, and even though it was clear that Johnson was in a car wreck, Jones tweeted out "no car wreck around here" with a picture of him and Stanley. That's not getting in trouble, but it showed lack of maturity and perspective at the time."
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out?
"I don't see him being a huge impact guy at the next level. He could maybe work his way into a 4th or 5th WR role, but it's hard to imagine him being something bigger and better than that. He relied on his physical attributes to succeed at the college level. He won't be able to do that in the NFL."
Thanks again to Jason. Go check out Arizona Desert Swarm.