A Look At The Detroit Lions Signing Of 2018 UDFA Chris Jones.
The Detroit Lions have signed 2018 UDFA Chris Jones. During his time at Nebraska, he earned a reputation as a lock down, physical corner until he tore his meniscus in the 2017 off-season that kept him from playing all but four games. However, the Lions front office must think his 2016 tape and combination of size and ball skills is worth testing out this year.
At 6’0, 200 lbs, he uses his bigger frame well to disrupt opposing receivers. Very physical throughout his press man, that could get him into pass interference trouble in the NFL. However, his physical and aggressive nature works well for him when contesting jump balls. Jones combines good hit power with timing to knock balls out of receivers hands. He combines this with soft hands himself, rarely dropping the ball when he gets both his hands on it. He also showed up nice in run support. Showed he was a very willing tackler in space, regardless of how big the opponent is.
However, there are some physical limitations, that combined with the injury, are likely why he went undrafted. He has decent solid top end speed, but needs time to build up to it. Burst, lateral quickness, and hip fluidity are all major question marks with him. These physical traits are typically important for cornerbacks translating to the NFL.
This is why I think getting Jones as an undrafted free agent was a solid decision by Lions general manger Bob Quinn. The risk is low. At the worst case, he’s a camp body. Best case, he ends up finding a role in the 53-man someday. The health certainly is a concern and maybe so are the physical limitations. But, this gives him the opportunity to show that those are behind him, and prove he can make it in the NFL with his physical toughness and ball skills.