Should Chicago Bears avoid this 2022 NFL draft prospect?
The Chicago Bears sent Alan Williams to the Houston Pro Day to check out two prospects that are getting a lot of buzz. One of them, Logan Hall is a likely top 50 pick while the other, Marcus Jones, is one of the more polarizing players in this draft. While the team met with both players this week, they may be more likely to be interested in drafting Logan Hall to replace their miss on Larry Ogunjobi than Marcus Jones.
To start, it is hard to knock Jones the player. This is a weapon that did it all. He played wide receiver at times when needed, but his scoring came in the return game. Marcus Jones had nine touchdowns, six on kick returns, and three on punts.
Marcus Jones also has good tape on the outside and in the slot. He started as a freshman at Troy in 2017 and now has five years of starting experience. There is reason to like him.
However, as an NFL prospect, you have to meet certain thresholds to be in the same league as some of the best athletes in the world. Marcus Jones is fun and was great at Troy and Houston, but his size is going to hold him back when the receivers go from mid-major prospects to the best of the best.
Marcus Jones has 28.88″ arms. Since 1990, just 17 cornerbacks in all of the NFL combine have had that small of an arm length. Here are the names of players with under 29″ arms.
Do you recognize any of those names? Probably not because it is very hard to compete in the NFL when you are at such a length disadvantage.
You see the name Roger McCreary, who is a prospect in this draft. He will have to answer the same questions, but at least played in the SEC, and more than that he is 3.38″ taller than Jones, and 16 pounds heavier than Jones.
That is right, checking into the NFL combine at 5’8″ and 174 pounds put Jones as one of the smallest players to ever be invited to the event.
Of the 17 corners with under 29″ arms, he is tied with Tim Hill as the shortest. Avery Williams was a fifth-round pick and came into the combine at 5’8 3/8″. He is the closest to Marcus Jones.
From a weight perspective, Williams has 15 pounds on Jones, and Jones is the second lightest of this group to only Cedrick Williams.
So, not only would Marcus Jones be one of the smallest corners in NFL history based on arm length, but he also would be historically small in height and weight compared to the historically small corners.
It is one thing to overcome the height, or the weight, or the length, but being historically small in all three areas makes it hard to see him on the field for NFL defensive snaps.
His return game ability is going to be a value, and like Avery Williams, should have him drafted on day three. Still, Chicago Bears saw firsthand that for as dynamic and fun as Tarik Cohen was on a tape that he just is too small to bang with the NFL bodies, and is just a gadget player due to his size.
Cohen is two inches shorter, but also five pounds heavier, and has longer arms. Being thicker despite being shorter would certainly help in the NFL. The upside with Marcus Jones is the defensive version of this type of player. A player that sounds fun in theory, but in actuality, you struggle to find ways to actually use them to create value.
The Chicago Bears’ interest in Logan Hall makes plenty of sense, but it is hard to see them having a strong interest in Marcus Jones until he falls to day three.