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Eagles reportedly host potential first round running back on pre-draft visit

Philly looking to add a new RB?

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

USC running back Ronald Jones is one of 30 2018 NFL Draft prospects scheduled to meet with the Eagles in Philadelphia for an official pre-draft visit, according to the great Josh Norris. Jones actually met with the team on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old Jones could be an option for the Eagles at No. 32 or if Philadelphia looks to trade back into the second round. Running back isn’t an immediate need for the Birds but Howie Roseman could look to add another weapon there with Jay Ajayi likely gone after this season.

Jones was pretty productive in his three years with the Trojans. He finished his college career with 591 attempts for 3,619 yards (6.1 average) and 39 touchdowns. Jones didn’t produce much as a receiver with only 39 receptions for 302 yards (9.4) average and three scores.

For what it’s worth, PFF is high on Jones. He graded out as the top running back in 2017. That’s over the likes of Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice, etc.

Jones was the best pure runner in the nation last season, leading the way with a 95.5 rushing grade. He has the vision, speed and short-area quickness to succeed in the NFL. He excels at maximizing the yardage given by his offensive line, ranking seventh in the nation with 914 yards after contact in 2017. Jones has yet to demonstrate that he can be a major factor in the passing game, catching only 32 passes in his career to go with four drops and only three missed tackles forced on those receptions. That might hurt his value at the next level, but Jones could be the best runner of the class and comes equipped with home run ability.

In addition to his lacking track record as a pass-catcher, Jones is known for being really bad in pass protection.

There’s a level of intrigue with Jones but I’m not so sure he’ll be the best option for the Eagles at No. 32.

BGN’s Ben Natan has Jones as his third overall running back prospect this year.

One of my favorite players in the class last year; Ronald Jones is a lightning bolt of a player. Jones underwhelmed at the combine due to still nursing a lower body injury, but don’t let that take away from the explosive ability he has shown on tape for the last three years. The 5’11”, 205 pound player may not be built like a prototypical NFL running back; but he has breakaway speed, open field agility and runs with the toughness of someone 20 pounds heavier than him. His size, lack of career catches and injury history might negatively impact his draft board; but he could instantly add a home run threat to whatever team drafts him!

Key Stat: 46.1% of his runs in 2017 went for 15 yards or more. (Pro Football Focus)

NFL Comparison: Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Scouting report on Jones via

Overview: Jones is a classic slasher with the wiggle and explosiveness to elude open-field tacklers and then burst to chunks of yardage. Jones was a much more assertive runner in 2017 and improved upon areas of improvement from the 2016 season. Jones also has the ability to turn into a much more dangerous pass-catcher than we saw at USC. He should test well at the Combine, but there will still be teams concerned with how many carries he can handle and how that affects his draft value. He’s a big play talent with a chance to thrive at a high level wherever he lands.

Sources Tell Us: “I love his juice. You have to have some of that to become a good back in the pros and he has a lot of it. He may be a little too light to give it to him more than 12-14 times per game though. I worry if he can hold up.” - NFC Personnel executive

Round Projection: 2

NFL Comparison: Jamaal Charles

Spider graph via Mockdraftable:

Highlights video:

Complete list of known Philadelphia Eagles draft visits

USC RB Ronald Jones

Louisville CB Jaire Alexander - [Click here]

Texas OT Connor Williams - [Click here]

OT Jordan Mailata - [Click here]

SMU WR Courtland Sutton - [Click here]

South Alabama DB Jeremy Reaves - [Click here]

Alabama S Ronnie Harrison - [Click here]

USC LB Uchenna Nwosu - [Click here]

Alabama LB Rashaan Evans - [Click here]

UCF CB Mike Hughes - [Click here]

Maryland LB Jermaine Carter - [Click here]

Central Arkansas CB Tremon Smith - [Click here]

Iowa C James Daniels - [Click here]

Miami TE Chris Herndon - [Click here]

South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard - [Click here]

San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny - [Click here]

Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor - [Click here]

Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain - [Click here]

Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch - [Click here]

Stanford S Justin Reid - [Click here]

LSU RB Derrius Guice - [Click here]

LSU CB Donte Jackson - [Click here]

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