Now that the lights have gone out – both literally and figuratively – on the 2012 NFL season, it’s time to focus on football’s silly season.
On February 8th Denver-area trainer Loren Landow held his annual mock combine/workout at the Family Sports Center in Centennial, CO. I had the good fortune to cover the event, which helps prepare regional collegiate football players for the upcoming NFL Combine in Indianapolis, IN.
So there I found myself amidst Denver media celebs like Darren “D-Mac” McKee from FM 104.3 The Fan, Rod Mackey of 9 News Sports, and Mike Klis from the Denver Post. Now I’m no talent scout but having watched both college and pro football closely for most of my life, I have a pretty good idea of what passes the eye test.
Collin Klein (Loveland, CO) of Kansas St was one of the participants. However, since he finished 3rd in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting, I figured you all would have or will hear a lot about him. Thus, I focused my attention on a young man that really stood out to me; not to mention a guy who could fill a position of need for our Denver Broncos.
University of Wyoming linebacker Korey Jones (Ft. Collins, CO) has good size at 6’2″, 233 lbs and with the proper NFL conditioning and weight training, one would have to figure that he should be able to add 10-15 lbs. to that frame. This would give him perfect size for the middle of a teams linebacking corps even though he is listed as an OLB/DE. In fact, the footage I found of Jones revealed a great deal of versatility. He was able to play inside or out, rush the passer or drop back into coverage, and play run-stopper.
What I witnessed during the drills at this workout is that Korey seems to have good agility and quick lateral movement. Although I had no access to the results from this mock combine, I can tell you that his standing high jump measured about 3/4 of the way up the measuring pole. He also had an impressive standing long jump. On nfldraftscout.com, Jones had 40 times posted of 4.56, 4.67, and 4.79. These times measured favorably against those of the LB’s from the 2012 draft.
As a point of reference, Vontaze Burfict of Arizona St and the Cincinnati Bengals posted times of 4.93 and 5.09. Last I checked, Burfict had a pretty impactful rookie campaign. Speed and quickness are not an issue for this young man from Rocky Mountain High School.
Another plus for Jones is his pedigree. His father, Kim Jones, was a standout running back at Colorado State University in the mid 1970′s. Drafted by the Baltimore Colts in the 7th round of the 1975 NFL Draft, the elder Jones played for four years for the New Orleans Saints from 1976-1979.
In a post workout interview, Jones was happy with the days results, but not complacent.
“It was OK,” Jones said. ‘It’s good enough for now…I’m still looking forward to the Pro Day and have plenty of time to clean things up and tighten things up on my technique.”
When I asked Jones about his expectations of the upcoming combine and draft, he responded with confidence, but no delusions about what he needs to do to play at the next level.
“I just want to go out and have a good showing,” Jones said. “Show them that I’m a good athlete, do all of my steps well, and do my part. Then after the Pro Day, it’s no longer in my hands.”
Of course I had to press him about where he would like to land.
“I don’t care..whoever comes calling,” as most athletes say.
When I asked him about playing for his hometown Broncos, Jones had more of a definitive answer.
“It would be pretty cool to stay here,” Jones said.
Based on my conversations with both father and son, I can’t imagine Korey Jones not applying his craft on Sundays. Keep an eye out for this Cowboy in the NFL.
Upcoming NFL offseason events:
NFL Combine – February 23-26
Free Agency Period – begins March 12
NFL Draft – April 26-28