Why the Jaguars’ front office was so high on rookie CB Jarrian Jones

Jarrian Jones of Florida State was selected by the Jaguars in Round 3, pick No. 96 of last month’s 2024 NFL Draft and could go down as a steal of the draft for Jacksonville.

Jones appeared in 55 games and started 29 from 2019-2023, recording 96 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, 17 pass breakups, and five interceptions over four seasons with FSU and one year with Mississippi State.

As Jones looks to make an impact in the pros, Jaguars assistant general manager Ethan Waugh talked about his positional versatility and why he will be a good fit for Jacksonville for many years to come.

“I think it’s extremely important. I think if you look at the numbers of corners and nickels drafted in recent years, it’s on the rise,” Waugh suggested on Friday. 

“Really, everything that we do, we kind of have to see how it affects the run game, but really more so how it affects the passing game, because that’s how you score points in this league, how you win in league is by throwing the football or defending the pass. So, a guy who can go inside out gives us more flexibility, as offenses move their slots and big guys around, having that flexibility is key.” 

Waugh also pointed toward Jones’ positive, energetic attitude since his pre-draft meetings with the Jaguars and joining the team as reasoning for his selection.

“Energy. Personality. I think you’ll see that when you guys get a chance to talk with him, if you haven’t yet. But he’s infectious,” Waugh described Jones. 

“He enjoyed being here, he enjoyed talking football, he enjoyed learning football, he enjoyed spending time with the coaches. I think when our coaches spent time with him, asking a player to play inside and outside is more mentally tasking than playing one spot. I think they felt really good about him in that role, so he really impressed us while he was here.” 

Jones is primarily projected to play nickel cornerback in Jacksonville’s defensive scheme, with veterans, Tyson Campbell and Ronald Darby, set to start at outside cornerback in 2024. Jones will compete with free agent safety signee, Darnell Savage, at the spot.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire