WR Zay Jones, East Carolina

6’2” – 201 lbs. – 4.45

Highly-productive four-year starter who finished his collegiate career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in receptions. Father was also a pro wide receiver, and uncle is former pro quarterback Jeff Blake. Has good height for the position, with a slightly thin, wiry build. Typically lines up on the right side of the formation, but will move around, including inside to the slot. Although he was predominantly an outside receiver in college, much of his work comes over the middle of the field. Does a lot of work underneath on routes like screens, slants, curls, and whip routes, but will also run some patterns which break over the middle further downfield. However, much of his deep work is intended to clear space for play designs which target receivers running underneath routes. Despite his production, wasn’t asked to serve as a deep threat or vertical target with much frequency, making it hard to evaluate his abilities in those areas. Shows some good inside releases at the line against press coverage; able to create some separation on double-moves, but made a lot of his catches in tight coverage. Doesn’t appear to have been asked to alter his routes based on what the defense was presenting and will run himself into coverage at times. Very reliable hands-catcher with good length (arms measured 32.5”) and the ability to pluck the ball away from his body; doesn’t appear to have much trouble coming down with catches in tight coverage. Has the temperament and toughness to work the middle of the field and hang onto throws through contact; able to get inside positioning between the hashes. Good runner after the catch who doesn’t waste a lot of time in getting upfield and is not afraid to get physical and mix in a stiff arm; also gets the ball on designed runs. More of a wall-off blocker but gives good effort in the screen and running games, using his length to get extension against opposing defenders. Impressive workouts at the Combine will go a long way toward assuaging concerns about his ability to transition up to a much higher level of competition. Very likeable prospect who has the look of a potential starting receiver, and what he does, he does well; however, his collegiate scheme and role called for a high volume of short patterns, especially those over the middle of the field, making it somewhat difficult to evaluate just how successful he’d be if asked to stretch defenses or work the sidelines on a more consistent basis.

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