The Philadelphia Eagles are using one of their 30 pre-draft visits on Houston cornerback/returner Marcus Jones, according to a report from Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson.
Jones is an intriguing prospect ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. Measuring in at just 5’8”, 174 pounds, he’s incredibly small. But his size has hardly prevented him from making big plays.
After two years at Troy and then another two at Houston, Jones finished his collegiate career with nine interceptions (five as a senior), 31 passes defensed, one forced fumble, and one defensive touchdown. He returned 73 kickoffs for a 28.4 average and SIX touchdowns. He returned 63 punts for a 14.0 average and three touchdowns. Jones also logged 19 total offensive touches for 146 yards and yet another score.
All told, that’s some pretty impressive production.
How Jones translates to the NFL remains to be seen. His ceiling as a defender is likely limited due to his diminutive stature. His age could be another knock against him considering he turns 24 during his rookie season. But the play-making ability — especially on special teams — is hard to ignore.
Jones is recovering from shoulder surgeries so that likely explains why the Eagles are among teams hosting him on a pre-draft visit. They’ll be able to do more homework on his recovery status.
The Eagles already have a plethora of young, unproven corners on their roster but they lack enticing returner options. If added to Philly’s roster, Jones would immediately be the top KR/PR. It’s been some time since the Birds had a truly threatening option at either spot.
There’s thought that Jones could be a late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick. Maybe the Eagles will be the team to take a chance on him.
Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Projects as a twitchy, undersized slot cornerback with playmaking traits and game-changing return talent. Jones has the hips and feet to cover slippery slot receivers and the ballhawking instincts to make plays from zone. He can be too reliant on his athletic ability. He needs to play with better discipline and route anticipation as a pro. He can be mismatched against size but he’s plenty scrappy in those battles. Jones’ lack of size will hurt him with some teams while others will elevate his grade thanks to his electric ability on special teams. There could be teams that look to give him reps at receiver, where he would have more big-play opportunities.
NFL Comparison: Dante Hall (as return talent)
Spider graph via Mockdraftable:
Complete list of known Philadelphia Eagles draft visits
Houston CB Marcus Jones
Cincinnati CB Ahmad ‘Sauce” Gardner