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Cowboys Potential Draft Picks: Reshad Jones, S, Georgia

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We have discussed the Cowboys’ safety position ad nauseum the last few weeks, so there really isn’t much left to say.  As of now, Alan Ball and second-year man Michael Hamlin would compete for the starting job at free safety, with Gerald Sensabaugh manning the strong safety position.

Neither Ball nor Sensabaugh lit up our 2009 Safety Grades, but Ball did perform adequately during his short stint replacing ex-Cowboy Ken Hamlin.  Still, Dallas is undoubtedly seeking an upgrade at free safety.

The team’s 27th overall draft selection seems like the most natural spot to fill this hole.  However, we don’t see either of the two top-tier safeties, Tennessee’s Eric Berry and Texas’ Earl Thomas, dropping to Dallas.  With the offensive line positions also a possibility in the first round, Dallas may not address the safety spot until later.

If so, Georgia’s Reshad Jones is a possibility.

Scouting Report

At 6’2”, 215 pounds, Jones is in the “Goldilocks Range” for Cowboys’ safeties–not too big, not too small.  However, Jones plays the run as if he was 230 pounds.  His tackling form is superb and he displays tremendous aggression in run support.  This is undoubtedly the strongest part of Jones’ game.  Forward to about the 1:12 mark in the video below to see the definition of a ‘form tackle.’

Jones’ speed is by no means elite, but it is adequate.  He is capable of getting beat deep due to his short stride length.  However, that short stride length makes cutting quite easy for him, thus allowing him to be better in man coverage against a slot wide receiver than, say, running deep with a burner.  Ultimately, his quickness is better than his speed.

Others have knocked Jones for having poor ball skills, but we don’t see it.  He has shown good hands in the tape we have watched and an above-average ability to make a play on the ball.  He has rather fluid hips and good change of direction.  The only thing Jones is really lacking is elite straight-line speed.

Jones is not a first round talent due to his limited upside–he does everything well, but nothing outstandingly.

Projection

Originally considered a surefire second-rounder, Jones has dropped a bit of late.  He may still go in the late second round, but the early-to-mid third seems more likely.  If he does drop into the back of the third round, he will becomes a legitimate option for Dallas.


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