In a draft that is deep with secondary options, the Chicago Bears are exploring their many avenues:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 3, 2017
The latest will be North Carolina State safety Josh Jones, who worked out for the Titans on Tuesday and planned a visit with he Vikings on Wednesday with future stops to see the Browns, Steelers and Bears in the future.
Jones played 37 games in three years with the Wolfpack before declaring for the draft, forgoing his senior season on campus. He came up with eight interceptions (including four as a freshman), 229 total tackles (139 solo), 8.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks in his college career, showing ability to do the various tasks asked of defensive backs. That is a quality showing for a three-year starter who took a redshirt year and was placed in various roles in the secondary.
He really made headlines with his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine where the 6-foot-1-inch, 220-pound safety ran a strong 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, which was second among safeties. Jones also finished first among his position with 20 bench press reps and second with a 132-inch broad jump.
Jones has the speed and athleticism to make plays in the secondary defending both the run and pass, though he could stand to acquire some better habits to avoid biting on certain plays that leave him out of position in coverage. Even still, he should be a coveted prospect in the middle rounds. Pro Football Focus has Jones ranked as its 18th best available safety.
If the Bears don’t go with a safety high at the top of the draft like Jamal Adams, targeting a player like Jones in the middle rounds makes a lot of sense.