Byron Jones had one of the greatest performances in NFL Combine history this year, setting a world record in the broad jump with a leap of 12 feet, three inches.
If you’re curious, that was Jones’ personal best – easily.
“That is by far my personal best,” the Connecticut prospect said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “By far. Oh, yeah.”
Jones, who started as a freshman at UConn, also finished first in the vertical leap (44.5 inches) and the 60-yard shuttle drill (10.98 seconds).
“I like to compete,” said Jones, whose vertical leap improved by three-and-a-half inches using a VertiMax to train for the Combine.
“It’s like a pulley system,” he explained. “It provides you with resistance. You wrap it around your waste and the back of your knees and you perform your sports movements. It’s not going to pull your back on your butt when you jump. It’s nice, progressive resistance. I improved a lot because that’s all you focus on is explosive movements and you’re using those resistance bands. They pretty much work out muscles you usually do not work out. If you’re doing your normal bench or squatting, you got to work out these small muscles.”
While Jones was a Combine warrior, he has a couple of things to improve upon on the field – at least according to one of his scouting reports. Among the critiques: Jones apparently has average short-space quickness, his rare workout numbers may not translate to the field, he does not have elite recovery speed, he sometimes over-processes, he has average ball skills, and he has a tendency to grab receivers down the field as opposed to boxing them out with his body.
“Always room to improve,” said Jones, who thought some of the criticisms were fair. “That’s just critiquing. That’s part of the game. That’s something you look forward to so you can clean up.”
Another criticism? Jones was not challenged in the AAC.
“That’s a tough perception to shake,” Jones said. “It’s true to a certain degree. But I did get a chance to play against some great competition (in 2013). Teddy Bridgewater and DeVante Parker, Blake Bortles and (Breshad) Perriman, the receiver. So I played against some good competition. But my senior year, not much.”
Jones said he has “no clue” where he’ll be drafted but said as long as he’s in a great organization and plays well, he’ll be happy.
Asked for the most intriguing question he received at the Combine, Jones didn’t hesitate: If your house were burning down and your entire family was outside and safe, what’s the one thing you would run back in and grab?
Jones’ answer? His fishing pole.
“I’m the best fisherman in the Northeast,” said Jones, who prefers catching freshwater bass. “So I got to keep that up.”
The same cannot be said for the broad jump – even though impromptu crowds clamor for it.
“Sometimes (people ask me), but I don’t do it,” Jones said. “I’m retired.”