In drafting Texas A&M’s Jaylon Jones, the Indianapolis Colts get a physical corner who thrives in press coverage
Texas A&M saw all three players that declared for the 2023 NFL Draft hear their names called last weekend, and the Indianapolis Colts saved the best for last by drafting one of this year’s most physical defensive backs.
Cornerback back Jaylon Jones was the last Aggie to come off the board after being selected with the 221st pick in the seventh round by the Colts. Given his 40-yard dash time at the combine (4.57) as well as some questions about his route anticipation, it wasn’t a shocker to see Jones be drafted in the later rounds.
But falling all the way to the seventh? That proved to be a bit of a surprise after many consensus projections pegged him as a sixth-round pick.
Despite whatever flags may have played a part in Jones slipping into the final round, all those criticisms can be rendered moot once he illustrates his value on the field, and the situation couldn’t be better. In joining the Colts, Jones should only thrive in sticking to his strength in press coverage.
Jones is coming off a 2022 season in which was graded 72.3 in coverage per PFF, which marked the highest of a three-year career with the Maroon and White. When allowed to play physically against an opposing wideout, Jones was the epitome of a lockdown corner, as he allowed a grand total of just 94 yards in coverage for the entirety of last season.
Texas A&M CB Jaylon Jones allowed only 94 yards in coverage last season🤯🔒@AggieFootball pic.twitter.com/mjEZSrlNEK
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 24, 2023
The Colts boasted the league’s 11th-ranked pass defense in 2022 (209.9 YPG) while allowing just 9.8 yards per completion. That being said, the backend unit has been the one positional group that has changed the most over the course of the offseason, which means a handful of rookies could potentially step in to compete for meaningful snaps in Week 1.
While second-round selection Julius Brents will likely get a first look at the top of the depth chart, Jones’ size (6-2, 200lbs) coupled with his experience at multiple positions (outside CB, safety, punt/kick return coverage) should warrant consideration for snaps as well.
Whether it be on special teams or when needed on the outside, Jones’ limited yards allowed in pass coverage speaks for itself. He’s a proven lockdown player that can give opposing wideouts fits, and while the 31 other NFL teams may have miscalculated, their loss proved to be the Colts’ gain as the former Aggie should thrive at the next level.
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