CB Jarrian Jones: Playing for Jaguars ‘a dream of mine’

Roughly 250 individual dreams come true around this time each year, when prospects receive calls from pro teams about their imminent selection in the 2024 NFL draft.

For Florida State cornerback Jarrian Jones, two dreams were realized late Friday night, when his name was called by Jacksonville with the No. 96 overall pick in the third round.

“Man,” Jones exclaimed, “when I saw that number pop up, I was so happy because playing for the Jaguars has been a dream of mine.”

From Magee, Miss., teams like New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, even AFC South rivals Tennessee and Houston geographically make a bit more sense for Jones to have been devoted to in his youth. What made the Jaguars his favorite team?

“Growing up I was a big Maurice Jones-Drew guy,” Jones revealed. “Big Maurice Jones-Drew guy, like I was a superfan of him. I watched just about every game that he played.”

Jacksonville’s second-round pick in 2006, Jones-Drew began his time with the Jaguars when Jones was five years old and received numerous All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors throughout Jones’ formative years around the game of football.

Jones recalled regularly playing the Madden video game series with Jones-Drew as his player of choice — “he used to go for like 200 yards every game I played,” Jones said — and frequently observing Jones-Drew plow over defenders in the A-gap of the trenches on Sundays.

“I had the t-shirt that had MJD on the back,” Jones shared. “I was kind of one of those fanatics.”

Jones’ feelings for the Jaguars only strengthened during the 2016 NFL draft, when Jacksonville took former Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey with its first-round selection.

In just over three seasons with the club, Ramsey earned one All-Pro and two Pro Bowl nods, setting a standard for performance at his position for Jones. The two former Seminoles have bonded over the years with the older defensive backs offering the young prospect tips of the trade.

“I definitely idolized Jalen, of course coming from Florida State we kind of played in the same defense,” Jones said. “When Jalen went there from Florida State, I was tuned into every game. Him playing inside, outside, just what he brought to the game.

“I kind of fell in love with the Jaguars while Jalen was there, [and] especially while Maurice Jones-Drew was there.”

With a pressing need at cornerback, Jacksonville made Jones its third pick of the 2024 NFL draft after taking wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. and defensive lineman Maason Smith Jr., both from LSU, in the first and second rounds, respectively.

In five seasons of college football, one with Mississippi State and four with Florida State, Jones recorded 96 tackles with 7.5 for loss, five interceptions, 12 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries over 55 games and 29 starts.

Day 3 of the 2024 NFL draft will begin at noon ET on Saturday. Jacksonville has six selections remaining.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire