Pre-NFL Combine New Orleans Saints mock draft

johnsigler
Oct 10, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Austin Johnson (99) reacts after sacking Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Zander Diamont (not pictured) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O
Oct 10, 2015; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Austin Johnson (99) reacts after sacking Indiana Hoosiers quarterback Zander Diamont (not pictured) during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O /
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Jonathan Jones
Nov 28, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) drops possible touchdown catch as he is defended by Auburn Tigers defensive back Jonathan Jones (3) at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports /

Undrafted Free Agents:  Jonathan Jones, Auburn CB.

Jonathan Jones is a fringe candidate to start in the NFL at boundary cornerback, standing a mere 5-foot-8 and weighing a scant 178 pounds at the Senior Bowl, but he’s done just that for Auburn the last two years.  His reportedly 4.3-second 40-yard dash speed shows up on tape as the diminutive corner flies around the field – he was second on the team in solo tackles last season.

Jones was one of the more-entertaining players to watch in Senior Bowl practices earlier this month.  While taller defensive backs were tripping over themselves or getting twisted around in coverage, Jones consistently hung in the hip pocket of his assigned receivers and constantly disrupted passes at the catch point.  He makes up for his lack of length with uncanny anticipation, as seen by his team-leading 13 pass deflections in 2015.

Because of his small size, it’s not likely that Jones will be drafted highly.  He could very well go completely undrafted; he lacks the ability to mirror receivers like his fellow small corner Jason Verrett, and struggles to burst through blocks to rack up tackles for loss like Brandon Boykin.  But Jones is a great cover corner and is more than willing to get involved on special teams, so there will be a place for him in the NFL.  If he falls this far, the New Orleans Saints should jump at the chance to add him to their squad.

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