Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation had his shot at taking a highly talented, developmental cornerback in the first round of our 2015 NFL mock draft a couple of weeks ago, but instead rolled with Oregon tackle Jake Fisher as his first-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles. Big mistake. Fisher is fine and all, but there's no way an athletic freak at corner lasts until ...
Wait, never mind. Gowton is getting his guy, after all.
52. Eagles: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
Gowton: Considering Byron Jones could arguably be in play for the Eagles at pick No. 20, getting him at No. 52 overall is a no-brainer.
The Eagles are showing a ton of interest in Jones. Chip Kelly chose to personally attend Connecticut’s pro day, along with Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis and two high-ranking player personnel executives. This seems especially significant considering this group chose to attend UConn’s pro day instead of FSU’s, which was being held on the same day.
Jones seems to fit exactly what the Eagles like in their cornerbacks. He has great size, he’s versatile (former safety), he's long, and he's extremely athletic. Kelly highly values character, and Jones is a team captain, so that’s just another box to check off.
The Eagles still have a big need at cornerback despite signing Byron Maxwell in free agency. Brandon Boykin, Nolan Carroll and Walter Thurmond are all expected to be in the running to start opposite of Maxwell in 2015, but none of them are under contract beyond the season. Jones wouldn’t necessarily need to start right away, but he could give Philadelphia a long-term fixture on the outside.
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: This is a pick I wouldn’t be able to fault too much if it happened in the first round of the draft. To get Jones -- an athletic freak -- in the second round is a coup. From a physical standpoint, Jones has every tool you want in a high-end developmental corner. He has a bit of work to do on his game, but that’s expected after he missed parts of last season. His character intangibles, though, are off the charts. After spending some time with him at the NFL Combine, it’s easy to tell Jones is genuinely a good person. He’s interned in a politician’s office in Washington, D.C. What did he do in his free time while there? He stayed in shape by practicing with the George Washington University women’s basketball team. Indeed, Jones checks all the boxes. By drafting him at No. 52, the Eagles should be the box checked for an "A" pick.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 30. Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
- 32. P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State
- 33. Jalen Collins, CB, LSU
- 39. Benardrick McKinney, LB, Mississippi State
- 44. Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State
- 1-20: Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon
- 2-52: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
SB Nation presents: Breaking down our latest mock draft