The Bills are of course looking to improve their defense by drafting some talent in the upcoming NFL Draft. A lot of their holes are on the defensive side, one area that they would like to add some depth is at the cornerback position. The Bills currently have Stephon Gilmore, Ronald Darby, Nickell Robey, Mario Butler and Sammy Seamster as their top five corners.
The nickel corner is in my opinion a position of need. Robey was abused regularly from the slot position in 2015. The other worry now that Mckelvin is gone, is who will the Bills look to if one of their starting corners goes down? One of the corners that they have a pre-draft visit scheduled with his Alabama’s corner Cyrus Jones.
Cyrus was targeted quite frequently in 2015, he was targeted 76 times, allowed 36 receptions (burn) for 459 yards and 6 touchdowns. That’s a 47% burn rate according to Real Football Network. He was able to get his hands on 9 passes and 3 interceptions (7 career INTs).
Jones’ biggest asset is his athleticism. He was recruited to Alabama as a five star, blue chip wide receiver. He has the down the field speed you want in your corners, at the combine he ran a 4.49 forty yard dash. He started three years at Alabama which means he received the best coaching of the position in the country. It shows on film, he flashes some great technique.
Technique near the line of scrimmage is what I LOVE about this player. As I have said, the coaching of the secondary is second to none. Jones is at his best in the receivers face. He has a phenomenal jab during the WR’s drive phase.
His ability to mirror WRs is one of his strengths. He is able to stay with wide receivers really well especially when the WR releases wide. All his movements are fluid and compact.
LSU tries the double move with Jones in man coverage but his smooth footwork, jab and transition shut down the deep ball attempt.
At 5’10 197 pounds he isn’t the most physical corner in this draft. His weakness is at the catch point. At times the receiver outplays him for the ball. He has average jump ball skills only posting a 33″ vertical leap.
I am not the biggest fan of his bail coverage or zone coverage skills, but the short field and telegraphed pass helped him pick this pass off.
Jones picks off the floater by Johnny Manziel.
Cyrus Jones wracked up 37 tackles in 2015. He shows the aggressiveness and attitude to come up and set the edge versus the run game.
On this play he is the slot corner/force defender. He takes on the fullback and forces the run inside.
Jones squats on the route and lays out the receiver.
But where I think the Bills need him the most is on special teams. In 2015, Jones had 4 punt returns for touchdowns which led the nation. His quick twitch and shiftiness make him a threat to take it to the house anytime he touches it. He has a knack for making the first player miss. Take a look at how special this kid is in the return game.
Look at how he jukes the cover man then cuts it up the middle for the touchdown.
Jones breaks several ankles on this return. Could he be moved back to wide receiver or running back? He is just so elusive, I honestly wonder if he could be used at other positions.
His shiftiness would help the Bills flip the field with one return.
Cyrus Jones has a lot of Bills fans buzzing. When they watch the highlight tapes they see a guy making plays on the ball, returning punts and even lighting people up versus the run. Although Jones flashes at times on film, he is a long ways from being a corner that can be relied upon. His best fit would probably be in the slot due to his ability to mirror wide receivers. But, even that could cause some trouble for him because of his average ball tracking skills. In 2015, he committed 34 pass interference penalties for 489 yards. He has received top of the line coaching at the collegiate level but he will still have quite the learning curve when it comes to Sundays. Cyrus will probably get drafted at the end of day two or early day three. It’ll take some time for him to adjust to the NFL as a corner. Cyrus Jones can make an immediate impact in the return game on day one. Something the Bills have to improve on in 2016.
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