New Orleans Saints to host Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones for pre-draft visit, report says
The New Orleans Saints are reportedly scheduled to host Alabama cornerback and kick-return specialist Cyrus Jones for a pre-NFL Draft visit.
Add Cyrus Jones to the list of New Orleans Saints pre-draft visits. Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post and Houston Chronicle reports that Jones will be visiting the Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers, New Orleans’ NFC South rivals, are also holding private workouts with Jones.
With Delvin Breaux being an exception, question marks surround the Saints’ cornerbacks. Brandon Browner is gone, thankfully. But there’s no telling whether or not Keenan Lewis will return to form after three hip surgeries last season.
P.J. Williams will return after missing his entire rookie season, so he is unproven. Damian Swann looked good in his first year, but concussions are a major issue, and he is coming off an arrest for reckless driving. Kyle Wilson is good depth, while Brian Dixon and Tony Carter certainly are not difference makers.
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While cornerback is not an immediate need for the New Orleans Saints, as you can see, it is a position of uncertainty. But bolstering up the front-seven, particularly the pass rush, should without question improve the pass defense. Adding somebody like Cyrus Jones in the draft will at least bring depth, as he also has the potential to turn into something solid. The Saints’ return game has been lacking as well.
Jones won’t impress with elite speed or power. It’s where he comes from and what he did with Alabama that makes him an enticing option. He helped lead the top defense in 2015 to a national championship title with excellent press coverage skills highlighted by good play strength in both the pass and run.
What could cause him to slide down the draft board is his lack of quickness and length, as he is only 5-foot-10. His smaller size has shown to be a problem against bigger receivers, which is why he may find himself playing in the slot in the NFL.
The Saints could still free up some cap space with contract restructures and/or extensions (we’re waiting for a Drew Brees deal) to add an additional cornerback in free agency. But if that doesn’t happen, it should without question be something to at least consider in the upcoming selection process.
I mocked Jones to the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round of my Post-NFL Combine mock draft. However, he is now projected to go in the third or fourth round.