Jarrian Jones’ Draft Profile | Florida State, CB Scouting Report

Florida State's Jarrian Jones suffocated WRs in 2023, and as his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report details, he can do the same at the NFL level.

Florida State CB Jarrian Jones was one coverage defender quarterbacks weren’t eager to test in 2023, and now, his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report boasts of similar upside at the NFL level. Where does Jones win, and what kind of impact can he provide in the pros?

Jarrian Jones’ Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’11 7/8″
  • Weight: 190 pounds
  • Length: 30″
  • Wingspan: 73 1/4″
  • Hand: 8 5/8″
  • Position: Cornerback
  • School: Florida State
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

In 2019, Jones joined the Mississippi State Bulldogs as an in-state four-star recruit. He played on a defensive unit that included two NFL stars in Willie Gay and Martin Emerson, and in his true freshman season, he flashed promise with two pass deflections.

Jones feasibly had a path to keep climbing the depth chart with the Bulldogs, but Emerson’s return in 2020, combined with the emergence of top recruit Emmanuel Forbes, helped incentivize Jones to seek out opportunities elsewhere.

Thus, Jones transferred to Florida State in 2020, joining Mike Norvell’s inaugural transfer class. Across the 2020 and 2021 seasons, he was more of a rotational defender, starting nine of 20 games played. But in 2022, he got his first chance as a full-time starter and was named FSU’s Most Improved Defensive Player.

Perhaps the Seminoles gave Jones that award a year too early because, in 2023, he took an even larger leap upward.

Jones moved from the boundary to the slot in 2023, without much time for preparation — and he still managed to dominate the competition week in and week out. He allowed one of the lowest passer ratings in the nation while racking up 25 tackles, including five tackles for loss, a sack, three interceptions, including a pick-six, three pass breakups, and a forced fumble.

MORE: Top CBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Jones’ forward momentum remained through a strong offseason. The FSU defender impressed at the Shrine Bowl, and he put up elite athletic numbers at the NFL Combine in the form of a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, a 39.5″ vertical, and a 10’9″ broad jump — numbers which earned him the 30th-best Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of all-time for a CB.

He’ll be a 23-year-old rookie, but at his age, Jones checks a lot of the boxes for a defender who can start early and make an impact often in his NFL career. What does the tape say about his projection?

Jones’ Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Twitched-up cover man with snappy mobility, vast corrective range, and instant burst.
  • Has the searing explosiveness and speed to violently close on flat and out routes.
  • Can use his effortless long speed to minimize vertical separation and keep positioning.
  • Flashes instant reaction to stimulus from off-man, keying in on WR hips to time breaks.
  • Has shown he can chip and pass off slot WRs, then flow to the flats with closing speed.
  • Has the processing ability to sift through stacked WR looks and snap his hips to trigger.
  • Patient off-man and zone defender who uses QBs’ eyes to discern intent and react.
  • Can quickly process and trigger on screens, using his explosiveness to sear past blocks.
  • Has shown he can progress from pedals to kick slides in off-man then plant and drive.
  • Can use precise extensions to gather WRs at stems while realigning his hips to match.
  • Aggressive in press-man and is more than willing to attack inside his WR’s frame.
  • Attacks the ball inside the WR’s cage and has proven he can convert INT opportunities.
  • Easily diagnoses run direction and uses his brisk pursuit speed to snuff out run paths.
  • Voracious blitz threat from the slot who can explode downhill and blindside passers.
  • Has experience on the boundary despite primary slot role in 2023.

Weaknesses

  • Has a lean frame with poor length, which can shrink his disruption radius at times.
  • Hip stiffness can prevent him from correcting pursuit and tackling angles quickly.
  • Visibly lacks high-end swivel freedom, causing hitches on 180-degree transitions.
  • Occasionally runs too far upright, which can sap at his max speed in open space.
  • On occasion, widens his feet too much on his initial pedal, further locking out his hips.
  • Sometimes plays a bit tall in off-man and has trouble sinking on inside route breaks.
  • At times, idles his feet ahead of stems, which can leave him vulnerable to double moves.
  • Footwork can be choppy in off-man, impacting hip leverage maintenance and reaction.
  • Can be baited by foot-fire releases into opening his hips, which can delay transitions.
  • Sometimes fails to carry pass-catchers vertically, incorrectly anticipating help downfield.
  • With lacking length, sometimes struggles to get off initial blocks in run defense.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Jones grades out as a fringe top-100 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s worthy of mid-to-late Day 2 capital, but he could go even earlier on account of his athletic testing. Though Jones’ profile isn’t perfect, he has the traits and scheme versatility to be a starting nickel DB.

Jones was one of the best coverage defenders in college football in 2023 and, on tape, it’s easy to see why. A few select traits underpin Jones’ ability to thrive in coverage. His elite explosiveness, twitch, and recovery speed top the list, but he’s also impressively well-versed in off-man coverage, with great vision, click-and-close ability, and physicality at stems.

Jones isn’t the most fluid cover man at his size, but his recovery speed allows him to compensate for slight hitches on transitions. And in press-man coverage, he has the willing physicality to dictate positioning on releases and delay WRs as they work up the field.

For Jones, the appeal extends past coverage, too. In run and flat support, he’s exceptional at processing play direction, triggering, splicing past blocks, and making tackles with his combined momentum and applied physicality. And as a blitzer, his searing speed and aggression can catch passers off guard.

Jones’ non-elite fluidity may always be a source of inconsistency against vertical-pressing digs and sharper route concepts. Therefore, if he can continue to chip away at minute technical inconsistencies, Jones can be a dynamic, tone-setting presence with impact starter upside, schematic versatility, and universal support utility.

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