Growing up in El Paso, Aaron Jones decided to stay close to his home and attend UTEP. What resulted was one of the most prolific careers in the programs history, with Jones breaking many UTEP and C-USA records in the process.
In his outstanding career with the Minors, Jones had 658 attempts for 4114 yards and 33 rushing touchdowns. His career yards per carry of 6.3 was also good enough to land him at 6th all time in C-USA history for that category. The duel threat running back also had 71 catches for 646 yards and 7 touchdowns in his career.
Jones has been getting a ton of hype lately due to his success and also from his recent combine performance, which is entirely understandable. In my opinion, I’d say Jones is fairly overrated as a prospect because he won’t come in and be your number one guy. If he is used as a COP and third down back though, he could have a long and relatively successful career.
Name: Aaron Jones
Size: 5’9”/ 208 lbs/ 32 1/2” arm length
Class: Junior (RS)
Comparison: Tim Hightower (New Orleans Saints)
Draft Grade: 6th Round
Combine: 40 Time: 4.56 seconds, Vertical: 37.5”, Broad: 127”, 3 Cone: 6.82 seconds, 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.20 seconds
Strengths: Runs with a nice blend of speed and power, especially impressive for a smaller guy. Has very nice explosion through the hole when it is there. Keeps his feet moving, loves to fight for extra yards. Fights threw arm tackles well, also possesses a nice stiff arm which he uses often. Excels in the pass game as well. Shows good effort as a pass blocker and has good enough hands to be a solid third down back. Excels in a spread system where he can catch passes out of the backfield along with taking the occasional draw play.
Weaknesses: Vision can be poor at times, tends to dance in the backfield way too much. Plays like a bigger running back yet doesn’t really have the size for that. Poor at making defenders miss in the hole or at the second level. Lacks that explosive, game changing quickness or speed to be a great change of pace back and doesn’t have the size or vision to be an every down player. Needs to be more consistent in the pass game. Routes can be slow and labored at times, NFL linebackers are too athletic and won’t be beat by them like C-USA players. Again, shows good effort as a pass blocker but needs to improve in that area. Also has off field question marks with his DWI in March of this year.
Overview: Aaron Jones is a tough, physical player who can carve a nice role for himself on an NFL team as a 3rd down running back who can occasionally take some carries away from the starter. He possesses nice hands and great strength to play that role effectively. I came up with the Tim Hightower comparison because he is a very similar player. They aren’t necessarily great in that role but can be a solid contributor for a team. If Jones ends up in a similar situation that Hightower ended up in last year (a team like New Orleans or Pittsburgh perhaps) then it wouldn’t surprise me if he puts up very similar numbers to Hightower’s last season. Overall I see Jones being more of a third down back but he does have the starter upside if he can add weight to his frame.