Can Southern Miss wide receiver Tim Jones ensure that the Eagles have pass catchers selected in consecutive NFL Draft classes for the first time since 1990-1991?
Tim Jones NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Southern Mississippi
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’0 1/2″
- Weight: 208 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Tim Jones Scouting Report
Positives: Three-year starter who led the team in receiving as a junior. Sure-handed receiver coming off an injury-plagued campaign. Displays excellent awareness, stays on the same page as his quarterback, and comes back into the clearing to make himself an available target.
Extends to snatch the ball away from his frame, possesses strong hands, and keeps the play in bounds running after the catch. Sells routes, gets vertical, and contorts to come away with the difficult reception. Keeps the play in bounds running after the catch, and gets results blocking downfield.
Negatives: Plays faster than his 40-time but lacks a deep burst and second gear.
Analysis: Jones is an underrated receiver prospect coming off a slightly disappointing campaign due to injuries. He possesses the pass-catching skills and the size to make an NFL roster as a fifth receiver.
Tim Jones Player Profile
A three-star recruit out of Biloxi, Mississippi, Jones saw significant time as a freshman at Biloxi High School before exploding into the national consciousness as a sophomore. Unbeknown to him at the time, that 2014 season would be the pinnacle of his high school career. Jones notched 100 catches, totaling 1,364 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns as he emerged as a big-play threat.
As Biloxi transitioned to a more run-orientated offense, Jones saw a drop in production. Nevertheless, he still earned second-team Class 6A All-State honors in a senior season that included 744 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
The drop in production didn’t equate to a drop in interest from college programs, however. Ranked as the 21st best player in Mississippi, Jones attracted interest from the major in-state programs, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Despite their interest, an offer never materialized from either school.
At any rate, Jones did receiver multiple offers, eventually opting to continue his career as a wide receiver at Southern Miss.
Tim Jones’ college football career at Southern Miss
At the time, Jones was effusive in his love for the program. Over time, the love would be reciprocated as he became a pivotal part of the Eagles’ offense. He contributed as a freshman in 2017, earning two starts amongst nine appearances. Although he snagged just 5 receptions for 121 yards, a 51-yard touchdown against Rice demonstrated his ability to be a big-play threat.
The Owls would be on the wrong side of Jones’ skillset again the following year. As his role in the Southern Miss wide receiver room grew, he snagged his second career touchdown against Rice. Making 11 starts as a sophomore, he finished second on the team with 42 receptions. His 508 receiving yards also ranked second on the team behind eventual draftee Quez Watkins.
Jones eclipsed Watkins as the receptions leader in 2019, emerging as an explosive threat. He is credited with having 14 explosive (20+ yard) plays as a junior while also setting a career-high single-game receiving statistics against Western Kentucky. His 159 yards and a touchdown came as part of a stretch where he had three consecutive games with a touchdown. Ending the season with 902 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns, the Southern Miss wide receiver was a second-team All-Conference USA honoree.
With Watkins departed for the NFL, 2020 was supposed to be the pinnacle of Jones’ pass-catching performance. Things started well, in fact, with consecutive 100+ yard receiving games. He also secured his first multiple touchdown game against Louisiana Tech. However, the disruption of the season and a nagging hamstring injury would limit him to just six total games. Following the season, Jones opted to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Tim Jones’ best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Can Jones ensure that Southern Miss has wide receivers drafted in consecutive seasons? If he is selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, it will surely be as a late seventh-round pick. Jones offers some potential as a slot receiver at the next level. His size and pass-catching ability could prove intriguing for a team where he could stick at the back end of a roster.
Some teams who could add a late-round receiver include the Las Vegas Raiders (although Jones’ lack of speed could preclude him), Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, and the Chicago Bears.
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