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Revisiting Jones’ pro day

Here’s a link to the post I filed on April 14 following the pro day of Taiwan Jones at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.

Jones was at the 49ers pro day but did not work out. I asked him at the pro day if he’d visited to the Raiders and he said he hadn’t because he had gotten back late from a visit to Miami.

Jones’ agent, Doug Hendrickson, said a visit to the Raiders had never actually been scheduled, concerned over a perception that his client had failed to attend a scheduled visit.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Guy

    Powe/ Ian Williams, Cannon, Greg Jones

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    Al Davis is King Raider!

  • Dakota

    Speed kills baby! That is why we have dominated the past 10 years!

  • J Hill

    Can’t believe the Spurs lost to Memphis.

    LMFAO!

  • J Hill

    Well, so much for the FB Meric being available in rd 5.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    – Multiple reports are confirmed what everyone already knew: Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones is fast and athletic.

    Stopwatches recorded times in the high 4.2′s to low 4.3′s on Jones’ only forty-yard dash attempt. He also put up other athletic testing numbers that would have put him at the top of the running back (or even wide receiver) heap at the Combine.

    He appeared to be fully healthy in today’s workout. Jones’ production and speed already had scouts pegging him in the third round of this year’s draft, with the assumption he would run as well as he did today.

    – When Taiwan Jones’ names rolls across the ticker on the bottom of the screen on draft weekend, it won’t raise much of an eyebrow among casual observers other than a mild curiosity about his first name.

    That could change quickly if Jones is able to stay healthy and put his explosive style on display regularly in the NFL.

    Little-known outside of the scouting community, Jones signed with Eastern Washington as a cornerback. His battle with various injuries was kick-started with a broken leg that cost him the first four games of the 2008 season. Jones returned to start four games at cornerback and flashed big-play ability on special teams.

    He made the switch to running back after the season and became an immediate star, going 87 yards for a touchdown on his first career handoff. He would finish the 2009 season with 2,345 all-purpose yards, second-most in school history.

    Jones improved on that production last season, rushing for 1,742 yards and 14 touchdowns and racking up 2,421 all-purpose yards.

    The numbers are even more impressive considering he missed the final two playoff games with a broken bone in his left foot (Eastern Washington still won the FCS National Championship).

    Jones surprised many scouts when he decided to forego his final year of eligibility. But he has little left to prove at the lower level of competition, and another significant injury would have only hurt his draft stock further.

    More than two-thirds of NFL teams are expected to be in attendance to get a first-hand look at potentially the fastest and most explosive running back in this class.

    Jones averaged a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry in 24 career games.

    Some of that is due to the level of competition, but his elusiveness, acceleration and breakaway speed are tantalizing.

    Analysis

    Inside: Lacks the bulk, power to handle a steady diet of interior running. Shows a quick burst to attack the line when there is a hole and can slip through a crack and into the secondary in the blink of an eye. Rare acceleration and top-end speed. Can avoid defenders in tight quarters, showing excellent lateral agility and balance. Upright runner who exposes the ball.

    Outside: Beats linebackers to the corner easily. Has the flexibility to bend, turn and explode upfield, showing the rare acceleration to break through the pack for long scores. Looks to get toward the sideline, minimizing where defenders can attack him. Shows an excellent stop-start move to avoid tackles, cutting back against the grain.

    Breaking tackles: Despite his upright running style, rarely takes bit hits, showing an ability to slide off tackles. Can’t be characterized as powerful, but keeps his legs churning and bounces off tacklers who don’t wrap him up. Slippery.

    Blocking: Rarely asked to pass block in this scheme, as he’s typically released into the flat as a receiver. Typically resorts to cut-blocking, at which he’s minimally effective due to a lack of technique and power.

    Receiving: Generally reliable hands. Makes most catches off of quick screens and dump-off passes, but was occasionally released deep. Appears to struggle tracking the ball over his shoulder, but possesses good body control to contort his body to make the tough grab. Flashes the ability to extend and pluck outside of his frame.

    Intangibles: Has struggled with injuries throughout his career. Experienced kick and punt returner. Returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in 2008 and had an 85-yard score called back due to penalty in 2009. Has been described by scouts as immature and naive.

    – Compares to:

    Jamaal Charles, Chiefs – Small and elusive with home-run ability, Jones has a chance to do a lot with a limited amount of touches if he’s able to stay healthy.

  • armond

    taiwan jones is a great VALUE pick for all of u experts. the man is fast and is already our best pure open field runner on the team. we had no speed in the backfield when dmc was out. there were times bush couldnt turn the corner against sf when dmc wouldve. also he gives us options as a extra return man on punts and he can be opposite of ford on kickoffs. now u cant kick away from ford without taking a chance on jones taking it back. its about options. he can catch and if he is close to chris johnson how the hell can yall complain. this is just like kc taking McCluster last year when they already had jones and charles.

  • Gust372

    Of course Al Davis is King Raider. Anyone can just look at the results from the past 8 years and see that.

  • Dakota

    4.J Hill Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 10:58 am
    Can’t believe the Spurs lost to Memphis.

    LMFAO!
    __________

    I wanted the Spurs to advance and take out OKC, or at least battle them for 7 games…..OKC makes me more nervous than Boston or Miami.

  • CMon Man

    Dakota,

    You are right on the money with your post. Al will NEGLECT just about every other need until he finds a replacement to the one guy that can play CB the way HE WANTS IT PLAYED!

    Neglect depth or competition at just about every position because 3 picks a year are dedicated to DBs and speed….

    Will only get worse if the secondary gets scorched this year.

  • J Hill

    Gasol vs. Gasol in the WCF?????

  • Gust372

    We’re not going to lose any track meets this year, that’s for sure!

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Dakota Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    So now we take McFadden or Bush off the field on third down? Two excellent pass catchers?

    Great move.
    ————————————————

    I don’t think so, Taiwan should return kicks and spell both of them, DMC can’t be counted on to play 16 games so Bush needs someone to complement him.

    Taiwan could finally kick Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett out of the roster saving a spot for someone else (Cartwright is a strong special teamer but someone else should be able to fill his role).

  • Dakota

    I predict that our first round selection, #17 overall, Richard Seymour will be misused as a DT by the Raiders. He should be playing LDE in our base defense. Would have been a great pick, but we use him incorrectly.

  • Guy

    Dang, I had a feeling the Pats would take him

  • J Hill

    Perkins won’t be able to punk Marc Gasol like he does his sister Paula.

    Ibaka is not going to be able to roam the paint guarding Randolph, and may be in constant foul trouble.

    Going to be interesting.

  • Harder2000

    Cannon out, too bad..

  • Harder2000

    Would have loved to see him here!

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Relax party people, you do realize this us day 3 of yhe draft don’t you? At this point needs are even less important & you can roll the dice. Most Guys picked during the last 3 rds are mainly guys that end up on the special teams or practice squad in Canada or out of football.

    I can’t belive people are so up in arms about taking a chance on the late round picks that could surpirse. If they wash out it doesn’t matter. We adressed our needs in the first 3 rds with quality players.

    Step away from the ledge, everything is going to be fine. Trust & know we have had an excellent draft.

  • J Hill

    Didn’t Seymour make the pro bowl as a DT?

    No coinkydink that Kelly got to play against 1 guy most of the time and had the season we’ve all be hoping for.

    DTs are not the probem.

    Houston is going to be a beast LDE. If we were still trying to trot Trevor Scott our there, then yeah Seymour would be a good fit there.

  • JONTRAIN

    i see a dose of reality is in order for some of u who r still delusional about this:

    NNAMDI IS NOT COMING BACK!!

    money is not the issue. he is gon and theres nothing al can do about that. . get ova it!

    our needs at OL and CB are indisputable. we are addressing our needs. this is good! will these guys we r drafting work out ? we have no idea. please dont pretend u really know how mid round picks r gonna pan out, much less higher round picks. all we can hope for is that we draft positions of need.

  • The Blackhole

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:05 am

    …”Step away from the ledge, everything is going to be fine.”…
    ———
    NEVER!

  • CMon Man

    When was the last time the Raiders drafted a DT or NT in any round?

  • Dakota

    13.Bob Marley Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Dakota Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    So now we take McFadden or Bush off the field on third down? Two excellent pass catchers?

    Great move.
    ————————————————

    I don’t think so, Taiwan should return kicks and spell both of them, DMC can’t be counted on to play 16 games so Bush needs someone to complement him.

    Taiwan could finally kick Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett out of the roster saving a spot for someone else (Cartwright is a strong special teamer but someone else should be able to fill his role).
    _________________

    The kick return stuff is great, I like that. I don’t see why Ford would be removed from return duties as he will never be a #1 WR, but having another guy who can do that is great.

    But if we need another RB that RB should be a bruising short yardage guy who can be used in emergency situations if Bush or McFadden go down. For his size Bush does not move the pile. If anything we needed a short yardage and goal line guy ala Zack C. IMO.

    If this guy is the best player left on the board, then great, but I don’t think he fills much of a need.

  • J Hill

    I guess what I’m saying is I don’t see a better option at DT for us than Seymour. I think he is better than Henderson, and better than any player we could have picked up at 48 or later. And anyone who tries to tell me that BJ Raji would be a better DT for us than Seymour is just not being realistic, imo.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    14.Dakota Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:04 am
    I predict that our first round selection, #17 overall, Richard Seymour will be misused as a DT by the Raiders. He should be playing LDE in our base defense. Would have been a great pick, but we use him incorrectly.

    ********

    He is a better DE in a 3/4, but in our scheam he is a awesome DT. He had a carreer year in 2010 as a DT3. We did see him @ LDE last year as well as Houston @ DT3, and that worked well too. We got veritle players on our D line.

  • CMon Man

    JONTRAIN,

    You shouldn’t lose top tier talent like that and get no compensation. That’s bad front office management. Should have traded Nnamdi 3 or 4 years ago for picks

  • http://www.psalm23sportswear.com omniscience

    we need to replace draft bust Mc Fadden too

  • J Hill

    We could’ve traded Nnamdi to the Jets last year for a #1 pick, but Nnamdi said he wanted to stay.

    Pretty unbelievable that he would have wanted to stay last offseason when the team was terrible, and now he wants to leave when he’s on a team that is much better.

    Makes no sense.

  • J Hill

    What happened to Hue Davis at 11:00am?

  • Dakota

    20.J Hill Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:07 am
    Didn’t Seymour make the pro bowl as a DT?

    No coinkydink that Kelly got to play against 1 guy most of the time and had the season we’ve all be hoping for.

    DTs are not the probem.

    Houston is going to be a beast LDE. If we were still trying to trot Trevor Scott our there, then yeah Seymour would be a good fit there.
    +++++++++++++++++++

    Jhill,

    Since you don’t believe in NTs, then you will always be fine with two DTs like Seymour and Kelly…..and you will continue to see us hover near the botton of the NFL in run defense.

    But it is no coincidence that the last time the Raiders we even near respectable against the run Sam Adams played NT for us.

  • Gust372

    It makes no sense because you’re taking the Raiders’ side of the story as truth, JHill. Once you realize the Raiders are ALWAYS lying, it makes a lot more sense. Trust me.

  • JONTRAIN

    Cmon..

    Of course ur right about that…i was really referring to the people talking about resigning Nnamdi as if thats even an option.

  • J Hill

    I believe in NTs.

    I just disagree with you that Seymour can’t handle double teams.

    The guy was the focus of the other team’s Oline all last year. Constantly doubled, and he was a PRO BOWL PLAYER.

    Kelly played the 3 tech last year, which we both agree is where he belongs.

  • CMon Man

    J Hill Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:15 am
    We could’ve traded Nnamdi to the Jets last year for a #1 pick, but Nnamdi said he wanted to stay.
    ==================================================
    Al doens’t think about the future…he’s a here and now type of guy.

    So, now they lose Nnamdi and have to draft 10,000 corners to find his replacement at the expense of other positions that need starters or depth

  • J Hill

    It makes no sense because you’re taking the Raiders’ side of the story as truth, JHill.

    —————————————————–

    Nnamdi was on ESPN First Take with Skip Bayless and confirmed that Davis called him and asked him if he wanted to be traded. Confirmed that he said he wanted to stay.

    Plenty of us saw and talked about that when it happened.

  • hellsbells

    Say hello to Carl Nicks. Stating LG once free agency begins.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Dakota, old pal…

    “Dakota Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    So now we take McFadden or Bush off the field on third down? Two excellent pass catchers?

    Great move.
    ————————————————

    I don’t think so, Taiwan should return kicks and spell both of them, DMC can’t be counted on to play 16 games so Bush needs someone to complement him.

    Taiwan could finally kick Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett out of the roster saving a spot for someone else (Cartwright is a strong special teamer but someone else should be able to fill his role).
    _________________

    The kick return stuff is great, I like that. I don’t see why Ford would be removed from return duties as he will never be a #1 WR, but having another guy who can do that is great.

    But if we need another RB that RB should be a bruising short yardage guy who can be used in emergency situations if Bush or McFadden go down. For his size Bush does not move the pile. If anything we needed a short yardage and goal line guy ala Zack C. IMO.

    If this guy is the best player left on the board, then great, but I don’t think he fills much of a need.
    ———————————————-

    True, a speed RB is probably a “luxury” pick but everyone raves about Taiwan’s potential, so maybe he’ll turn out fine (I hate injury prone guys so I’m not 100% on board)…not many game-breakers out there past the first 2 rounds.

    I actually felt your boy D-MAC turned into a surprisingly good short-yardage back, his burst helps a lot but he’s got some power on those skinny legs as well.

  • ohioraider

    29th rated run defense and Al stands pat. Huh?

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    31.Dakota Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:16 am
    20.J Hill Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:07 am
    Didn’t Seymour make the pro bowl as a DT?

    No coinkydink that Kelly got to play against 1 guy most of the time and had the season we’ve all be hoping for.

    DTs are not the probem.

    Houston is going to be a beast LDE. If we were still trying to trot Trevor Scott our there, then yeah Seymour would be a good fit there.
    +++++++++++++++++++

    Jhill,

    Since you don’t believe in NTs, then you will always be fine with two DTs like Seymour and Kelly…..and you will continue to see us hover near the botton of the NFL in run defense.

    But it is no coincidence that the last time the Raiders we even near respectable against the run Sam Adams played NT for us.

    *************

    Hello big John Hend

  • The Blackhole

    We let go of Nnamdi so we could keep the Richard Seymours, the Standford Routs, the Hiram Eugenes and so forth.

  • hellsbells

    Love 21, but we did not use him right anyway. Who cares he shut down opposing teams third option. Easily game planned because he did not shadow oppositions best WR often enough. That half the field crap is well crap.

  • The Blackhole

    We’re next…

  • CMon Man

    The Blackhole Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:25 am
    We let go of Nnamdi so we could keep the Richard Seymours, the Standford Routs, the Hiram Eugenes and so forth.
    ================================================
    That’s fine…but have a plan. If Routt and Eugene are the future…trade NNamdi to the Jets for a 2nd rounder or something…not just let walk out the door.

    One would be hard pressed to find another example of a player of that caliber that was let go with no compensation/trade

  • Dakota

    38.Bob Marley Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:23 am
    True, a speed RB is probably a “luxury” pick but everyone raves about Taiwan’s potential, so maybe he’ll turn out fine (I hate injury prone guys so I’m not 100% on board)…not many game-breakers out there past the first 2 rounds.

    I actually felt your boy D-MAC turned into a surprisingly good short-yardage back, his burst helps a lot but he’s got some power on those skinny legs as well.

    ______________

    McFadden should be used in short yardage and goal line situations. Very frustrating to watch McFadden carry them to the goal line last year, and then watch twinkle toes Bush try and fail to score on goal line situations. McFadden was robbed of 5-7 TDs last year by the coaching staff.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Bush, but he should only be used when necessary.

  • Dakota

    40.The Realist Dirty Raccoon Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Hello big John Hend
    ++++++++

    Would have worked 5-7 years ago….not quite the same Hendu these days.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    41.The Blackhole Says:
    April 30th, 2011 at 11:25 am
    We let go of Nnamdi so we could keep the Richard Seymours, the Standford Routs, the Hiram Eugenes and so forth.

    ************

    Is there more than one Stanford Rout, and Eugene?

  • The Blackhole

    WHAT!?

  • aig-raiders

    Nothing more guaranteed in life than taxes, death, and al Davis drafting 2 corners every year

  • lefty12

    So many on here were complaining because we were paying Nnamdi too much money.Now,since he has priced himself off the team,many are complaining because we are letting him go.Some people will never be satisfied.