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Del Rio on Jones


"With our first round selection, we're happy to have Matt Jones, wide receiver/quarterback/tight end/ whatever else we end up utilizing him and doing with him. He's an explosive athlete with tremendous hands and we're very excited to add him right now. We'll get him in here next week and get a look at him."

(do you feel there is a risk factor with Jones since he has never played the wide receiver position?) "There is risk with anyone you take. I think when you look at the rare physical attributes he brings, the ultra competitive nature of him, this is a playmaker. This guy has been productive in every stage or level that he's been an athlete. Whether it be basketball, whether it be football, he's been a winner all his life. As we went through the process, he was a guy that we were excited about adding; a playmaker, an explosive athlete. There are questions about how long it'll take him to run the whole route tree, but we're going to focus on the part of the route tree he does well in right away and bring him along on the other part. We're excited about adding a playmaker with some talent and some potential to help us score more points."

(will Jones play at wide receiver?) "Yes, he'll come in as a wide receiver first. He's big enough that some day he may grow into a tight end, but we're not going to force him into a tight end position to start with. Whether he's playing in the slot or out wide, he's going to be tough to deal with. He's going to make all the jump ball plays. He has unbelievable hands. He has hands a lot like a former teammate of mine named Cris Carter. He has tremendous, tremendous hands. He has great body control, very fast. The biggest thing he'll need time in is just developing the route tree, to be able to do all of the route tree. But there is no question this guy will make some plays for us."

(do you see Jones exclusively as a pass catcher?) "Certainly, he'll have the ability to do some of the option stuff - throw, run. This guy had 77 touchdowns in his career. I don't remember exactly how many, but it's like over 80 10-yard runs and a bunch of 50-yard runs. He's played his best in the biggest moments of games. When games have been on the line, seven overtimes games, the longest game in the history of college athletics, he made play after play after play to win the game. As you go back and watch him, this guy is ultra competitive. I think if there is one thing that I think sometimes people misunderstand, much like when we were drafting Julius Peppers, when you take a superb athlete, there are times when people question whether they're playing hard all the time. People asked me that about Julius all the time. He just runs easier than other people. Some guys have to strain to run across the room. Some guys run really effortlessly. I think he's that kind of athlete."

(at this pick, was this a consideration between Jones and Mark Clayton?) "Obviously, we looked at everybody that is remaining on the board and made our comparisons, and Matt was our guy that was the next player on our board. We think Mark is a good player but we're very happy to have Matt."

(what convinced you that Jones was the player at this position?) "I would say it was just the process. The first exposure I had was a bunch of his runs, and the first thing I said was 'come on, who is he playing against? The Sisters of the Poor? No, that's Auburn.' He ran through the SEC the last few years and he made it look like the other guys were standing still. He has incredible speed, acceleration and a knack for making plays. I think when you see that against the SEC, you're talking about the best football conference in the country, obviously it's a very talented conference and he's running through them like they're standing still. So, he's a very talented person."

(on James Harris noting it's hard to get a player with a "WOW" feature at the 21st spot, but you think Jones has this attribute. Why?) "He's got some WOW to him, sure. I know people are going to ask questions, but I don't know that there isn't a name up there somebody wouldn't ask some type of questions about. That's the nature of the business. If you go back and look at history, a lot of the sure thing picks don't pan out anyhow. You're always projecting into what a guy is going to do at this level and we feel very good about the player we just acquired."

(will you play Jones at tight end at all?) "Primarily at wide receiver. We'll see how it goes. We want to get him here and introduce him to the Jaguars family. Let him start out there because we know he can do that right now. We have a specific role in mind with selecting him of how we're going to utilize him and what he can do and then we believe that we'll be able to enhance that and built on that as we go. But primarily to begin with, we'd like to just start out and make plays."

(if Jones primarily plays at wide receiver, do you see him dropping a lot of weight?) "No, I'm not going to just make statements about his weight at this point. I'd say if he were to drop or gain weight, if he's running 4.3, it won't matter to me. I think the 4.3 thing is what we want to keep, that speed. If we feel that adding weight or dropping weight is best for us once we get him here and start working with him, we'll adjust then. But we're not going to try and get into that type of thing until we get a look at him for ourselves."

(what makes you think Jones wasn't a workout wonder guy?) "He's been an athlete who's been productive on the big stage before. He's going to a new position which happens all the time. When you're talking about the position he's going to, can he catch the ball? He's got great hands. Can he separate? He's got great speed. Can he go up top and get the ball? Yes, he has the ability to get vertical. He has a 42" vertical. Is he competitive? Yes, he's competed at the highest level. To be the sixth man on the Arkansas basketball team… He has some special qualities about him so that's what gives you the comfort in it."

(would you use Jones as quarterback if you needed to fill that spot?) "We're aware of the fact he's played quarterback. He certainly can do it, but that's not where we're going to begin the process in terms of developing his talents and utilizing the most that we can here in Jacksonville. But certainly he's more than capable of being in the game and playing quarterback, but that's not what we drafted him to do."

(with Jones being a long strider, do you see that as being a problem, and how would you compare Steve Walters working with Jones compared to Drew Bennett?) "When you go back, if you look at a long strider who is not an athlete, one place that will show up is the three-cone (drill). He has an exceptional three-cone time. I believe it's 6.7, 6.6, somewhere in there. It's elite. It's up there with the top DBs. There is no question about his quickness. As far as Steve Walters having Drew in Tennessee and what they were able to get out of Drew and then how much more of an athletic guy we're dealing with and how much more we think we can get out of him, it's fair to say we looked at all of that and talked with Steve and Carl (Smith) and everybody going through the process."

(how have you been able to judge Jones' hands?) "The first place was down at the Senior Bowl against tough competition. He was 12 for 12. There were 12 balls thrown and 12 balls were completed, many of them very difficult catches. He had a spectacular touchdown catch in the game. He had speculator catches in practice. You see the hands. They're very natural. There is no question he has great hands. He has great eye-hand coordination."

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