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NFL Draft Prospect Preview - Elijah Jones

by J.T. Toth


Photo courtesy of BC Interruption.


At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.


Today’s Spotlight - Boston College, Cornerback, Elijah Jones


Name - Elijah Jones

Pos - CB

Team - Boston College

HT/WT - 6’2” 184 lbs.

Born- N/A

Home – Harlem, NY


Elijah Jones was the top rated cornerback in New York and the state’s no. 8 overall prospect according to Rivals.com. Jones was not only a dominant defensive back and an excellent wide receiver for Cardinal Hayes High School. He finished his senior year with 1,017 yards receiving and scored 14 touchdowns. Besides football, Jones ran track and field and was ranked as the no. 62 athlete in the nation by ESPN. He committed to Boston College to play football during his senior season.


In 2018, he played in 4 games before redshirted the rest of the season. In his limited action, he totaled 6 tackles and 4 pass breakups for the Eagles. In 2019, Jones started 3 games and played in all 13 for Boston College. He was part of a regular rotation and finished the season collecting 27 tackles and had 1 pass defended. During the 2020 season, Jones once again was a top reserve in the Eagles' secondary, playing in 11 games total. He tallied a career high 36 tackles and 5 passes defended.


Jones became a starting cornerback in 2021 for Boston College and had a strong season, finishing with 30 tackles, 5 passes defended and forced 2 fumbles. But in 2022, he came into his own, starting all 11 games with 34 tackles, a team-high 13 passes defended and his first 2 interceptions of his collegiate career. After the season, Jones was named an All-ACC Honorable Mention. 


Jones started the 2023 season with a flurry of interceptions. He picked off 5 passes in the first 9 games of the season, but was then lost for the season with an undisclosed, non football injury.


As a prospect, Jones is very good in zone coverage and does a fantastic job of reading routes and reacting to the ball. When the ball is in the air, he becomes a wide receiver and has the hands, speed and vision to be a threat every time he makes a pick to take it to the house. He plays with both strength and length and is not afraid to hit opponents coming off the line of scrimmage to bump them off their routes. He can also play loose and use his closing ability well when reacting to throws. Jones overall is athletic and his straight line speed helps him to mirror the faster receivers on deep routes. He has the size and speed combo that the NFL GM’s are looking for. 


On the downside, Jones struggles to finish his tackles and does not wrap up effectively in the open field. In coverage, he tries to lay the big hit on a receiver, instead of being conservative and wrapping up the ball carrier. In coverage, he has a bad habit of playing too loose and gives up some easy catches. He panics on deep balls and can become handsy instead of trusting his speed to make a play. He plays better north and south on a straight line, and he has problems with moving laterally and covering shifty receivers. And in run stopping, he has issues with disengaging blocks and pursuing the ball. 


A good pro comparison to Elijah Jones is a player like Martin Emerson. Emerson was a 3rd round pick in 2022 out of Mississippi State. Emerson made big plays in the secondary but could not be counted on to make tackles and help in the run game. Since being drafted, Emerson has added some muscle and weight and has become efficient in run stopping. Jones won’t be drafted as high as Emerson but could be a valuable part of a secondary.



Strengths

  • Size/length

  • Ball skills

  • Press

  • Make up speed

Weaknesses

  • Handsy/penalties

  • Tackling

  • Loose coverage

  • Risk taker


Final Analysis


Elijah Jones has a chance to be a good cornerback, but he will need a solid combine to distinguish himself from the other cornerbacks in this draft. He is a value pick late in the draft, who at worst, should become a solid depth piece for any NFL secondary.


Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th round or 6th round



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