After spending the offseason climbing up mock draft boards, Byron Jones heard his name called tonight with the 27th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Draft. He was the 4th cornerback picked, after Trae Waynes (Michigan State), Kevin Johnson (Wake Forest) and Marcus Peters (Washington).
Jones is the second UConn football player ever to be picked in the first round, tying the record set by running back Donald Brown, who was also taken 27th overall in 2009 by the Colts.
A star on the field and in the classroom, Jones was held in high regard for his football instincts and character, but scouts questioned whether he had the athleticism to play cornerback at the next level. He squashed those concerns with mind-blowing performances in both the NFL Combine and UConn Pro Day, famously breaking a world record in the broad jump and posting a 44.5-inch vertical leap in Indianapolis while running a 4.36 40-yard dash on his pro day.
Many predicted Jones might go as early as 20th to the Eagles, especially with the extra interest he received from Chip Kelly and the staff in Philadelphia. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports correctly predicted this selection in his final mock draft.
Jones started 37 games in 43 appearances for the Huskies, totaling 8 interceptions, 18 pass deflections and making 223 tackles. His senior year he held opposing quarterbacks to a 26.3 passer rating when they threw his way. He was a 2-star recruit coming out of St. Paul Catholic in New Britain, Connecticut.