Darren McFadden And Felix Jones Have Strong Pro Days

Darren McFadden was the main attraction at Arkansas' pro day but lets not forget about his running mate Felix Jones. 26 teams showed up for the workout today, with the Bears showing very strong interest in both McFadden and Jones.

Jones stood on his 40 time from the Combine (4.4's) but he did drills and looked good doing them. He bulked up a bit as well, weighing in at a solid 5'10" 210lbs.
"I felt I did pretty good. I mean, there is enough room to get a lot stronger. That'll be one of my things I'm going to work on."

Teams grilled Jones on whether or not he can be an every-down back in the NFL. Splitting time with McFadden, Jones was never the workhorse in Arkansas but still managed to run for over 1100 yards in back-to-back seasons.

"They just want to know if I'm an every-down back. It's pretty good when they ask me that because I didn't have a chance to show everybody at Arkansas," Jones said. "But once I get to a team and get a chance to show them, the team will really be happy."

Jones' former runningback coach Tim Horton thinks Felix has what it takes to carry the load if need be, and feels that Jones is being a bit underestimated:
"I think he can be an everydown back. He has all the attributes you're looking for. He's a good pass protector. He's deceivingly strong and deceivingly bigger than you think when you look at him. He's got a really big set of legs on him. ... You very, very rarely get a clean shot on him. Felix doesn't get near as many direct hits as Darren [McFadden] does. I don't think there's any doubt that he can and will handle [being a feature back]. ... If we were very smart, we would have given [the ball] to him more. He averaged over nine yards per carry. We didn't get it to him enough. He is such an explosive player. ... He's not a punt returner. He struggles to catch a punt. He'll catch about 85 percent of them, but you've got to have a guy better than 85 percent back there. ... He's got the feel - whatever 'it' is, he's got it. Anytime you get him the ball in space, something good is going to happen. ... He's maybe not as fast as Darren McFadden, but heck, who is? He's got really, really good speed. ... Good, not great [hands]. He generally caught the ball well in games, but every once in awhile, he'd drop a ball in practice that would make you think, 'What the heck?' ... The thing about Felix is all the intangibles he brings to the table. He is really a first-class kid. He's got that personality or charisma about him. The thing that everybody at Arkansas will remember about Felix is his smile. He's fun to be around. ... He's one of the ultimate team guys I've ever been around, but at the same time, he's very competitive. If things weren't going well and he was on the sideline, he'd say, 'Get me in there.'"

In my mind, Jones is a top 20 talent in this draft and I would rank him as the 4th best running back in this draft. The fact that Felix Jones is being considered a first round pick as the fourth-best running back speaks to the depth of that position this year.

As I have already expressed, I think if Jones is available at pick 27 the Chargers could easily draft him and he would make for a fine backup to Tomlinson and would compete with Darren Sproles' job on special teams.

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March 25, 2008

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