Elijah Jones’ Draft Profile | Boston College, CB Scouting Report

If your NFL team needs an instant starting CB with toughness and playmaking ability, Elijah Jones' 2024 NFL Draft scouting report might be for you.

The 2024 NFL Draft is all about value, and Boston College CB Elijah Jones might be one of the best potential value deals in the upcoming cornerback class. What does Jones offer as a prospect, and what might his NFL projection be?

Elijah Jones’ Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’1 1/2″
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Length: 31 1/2″
  • Wingspan: 76″
  • Hand: 9 1/4″
  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Boston College
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

It’s been quite an ascent for Jones. At the start of the 2023 campaign, he was a sixth-year senior barely on the 2024 NFL Draft radar. And now, he’s a first-team All-ACC performer, a Senior Bowl standout, and an elite athletic tester trending toward a potential top-100 selection.

There were always glimpses of what Jones might become. In high school, he was a two-way stud at wide receiver and cornerback, logging over 1,000 receiving yards as a senior — at over 20 yards per catch.

Jones’ quick acclimation to the college game might’ve also been a hint at his NFL potential. He played in four games as a true freshman and logged four pass breakups before he was sidelined with his redshirt preserved. In 2019, he returned as a regular defensive contributor.

It didn’t take long for Jones to become a staple in Boston College’s secondary, but 2022 and 2023 were his best years. In 2022, he amassed 34 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, two interceptions, and 13 pass deflections.

In 2023, Jones took it a step further and put up five interceptions, eight pass breakups, and a forced fumble — saving some of his best performances for games against premier talents like Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson.

Jones compounded his forward momentum at the Senior Bowl and did the same at the NFL Combine, where he logged a 4.44 40-yard dash, a 10’11” broad jump, and a 42.5″ vertical — above the 99th percentile. Looking at his composite profile, where does Jones rank?

Jones’ Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Sports a tall, lean frame with good length and reach.
  • Hyper-explosive mover who can click and close with startling quickness after planting.
  • Swiftly reacts to stem redirections, seamlessly executing speed turns from his pedal.
  • Has the fluidity to execute 90-degree turns and enter chase on the vertical plane.
  • Can turn on the jets in side-saddle and erase separation with his blistering acceleration.
  • Snappy short-area twitch and foot speed allow him to rapidly click and close on breaks.
  • Disciplined press-man defender who can match releases with fast, contained footwork.
  • Can match WRs with shuffle-steps, then gather and trail upfield with catch technique.
  • Has the processing ability to manage overlapping routes in zone and ID vertical threats.
  • Active pre-snap communicator who can motion and take reps from the slot or boundary.
  • Can use targeted physicality to nullify swipes and shoves while tracking WRs vertically.
  • Can get his head around in contested coverage and play the ball through the process.
  • Instinctive playmaker who can guide his hands to the ball and extend for big plays.
  • Willing, combative support defender who can enter the scrum and deconstruct blocks.
  • Disciplined leverage player on boundary blocks, who uses his frame to wall off lanes.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have elite hip fluidity or sink, and experiences slight delays on sharp transitions.
  • With a taller frame, sometimes struggles to sink and redirect, necessitating gather steps.
  • Can be a bit leggy on direction changes and short-area corrections, sapping his fluidity.
  • Lacks the full swivel freedom and bend to keep hip leverage on in-and-out concepts.
  • Doesn’t always have the requisite long speed to gain ground on horizontal routes.
  • On occasion, idles his feet in off-man coverage, and can be caught flat-footed at stems.
  • At times jams while flat-footed in off-man, locking out his hips and delaying transitions.
  • Can be baited into over-setting laterally by jab-steps and opening up inside paths.
  • Sometimes opens his hips too early in off-man reps, opening the door for WRs to divert.
  • Sometimes widens his base a bit too far when matching releases with off-man shuffles.
  • Occasionally fails to execute route exchanges and gives stacked WRs a free release.
  • Sometimes plays too tall when correcting tackling angles, which can impact his launch.
  • Leaner frame and tall play style can impact his ability to finish as a solo tackler.
  • Sixth-year senior who will be a 25-year-old rookie in 2024.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Jones grades out as a fringe top-100 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He could field consideration as early as the mid-to-late Day 2 range, but he’d be an especially good value acquisition on Day 3.

Jones will be a 25-year-old rookie in 2024, and at his age, there remain diluting factors on tape for his stock. At around 6’1 1/2″, some fluidity limitations precipitate from Jones’ taller frame, and there are technical inefficiencies for him to keep improving, particularly in off-man at stems.

Nevertheless, if you’re a team that runs more press-man and zone concepts on a situational basis, and if you’re looking for a CB with starter utility early on Day 3, there are few options better than Jones.

Jones is an extremely explosive, twitched-up athlete with swarming recovery speed. He’s disciplined in press, physical as a trailing and support defender, alert and quick to adapt in zone and side-saddle, and he plays the ball well, using his eyes as a guiding tool and his length to disrupt and generate turnovers.

With fluidity that’s only above-average at best and harmful tendencies in off-man, Jones may never be a high-end starter in the NFL. But right away, he’s an intelligent cover man with playmaking instincts, support utility, and versatility between the slot and the boundary.

MORE: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Though Jones may have a shorter prime than other CBs at 25 years old, he can be a capable starter right out of the gate in zone and press-man-heavy schemes, and if he can keep improving his off-man technique, he has quality starter potential.

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