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I think we'd all agree with the notion that the Dolphins will draft a safety at some point during this week's draft. If they don't take one in round one, the Dolphins will have a number of options to choose from in the middle rounds. One of them is Georgia's Reshad Jones.
We know the Dolphins have had Jones in for a visit, showing that there could be some interest here. So to learn more about him, I enlisted help from "MaconDawg" - one of the contributors over at Dawg Sports, SBN's Georgia Bulldogs blog. Below you will find his thoughts on their play-making safety as well as Reshad's Combine numbers.
Height: 6'1 1/4" / Weight: 214
40: 4.56 / Arm: 32" / Hand: 9"
Reshad Jones came to Georgia as Rivals' #1 rated safety in the class of 2006. Jones arrived in Athens as a quick, rangy 61 177 pounder who some thought might actually end up at corner. He ultimately redshirted that first season, which Jones himself admitted was frustrating for a highly-touted player. To his credit, Reshad spent that redshirt season transforming himself from a skinny kid into what is technically termed [looks down, checks glossary of vaguely "scouty" sounding terms, finds appropriate moniker] a "grown-ass man", bulking up to 215 pounds without seeming to lose any speed or quickness.
Jones is now a big, physical safety in the mold of former Bulldogs Greg Blue (formerly with the Vikings) and Thomas Davis (currently with the Panthers). Reshad however is a much more fluid cover guy than either of those two were. He has better than average hips for a 220 pound safety, a 40 inch vertical and average to above average speed.
No one doubts Reshad Jones' physical ability to be an NFL safety. But you know those guys who just seem to always be there to make a game-changing play? A key interception? A tackle behind the line on 4th and short? Yeah, Reshad has never been that guy. That's not to say he's a combine warrior who doesn't really play football. Far from it. He was second on the team in tackles in 2008 and led the Bulldogs in interceptions with 5.
However, Reshad's most oft-remembered play that season was a poor missed tackle in the open field that allowed Georgia Tech tailback Jon Dwyer to scamper for a touchdown which seemed to open the floodgates in an embarrassing come-from-ahead 45-42 loss to the Yellow Jackets.
While Coach Richt has taken every available opportunity over the past two seasons to praise Reshad's leadership abilities, and he would certainly know as well as anyone, there have nevertheless been rumblings that Jones was more concerned with safeguarding his pro career than really selling out to win an SEC title.
But obviously the bottom line question for phins fans is "can the guy help us?" I think the answer to that is a yes. The thing about the NFL is that there are very few "gamers" who don't have the physical chops for the league but get by on their wits and work ethic. If intangibles were what wins in the NFL, Doug Flutie would have 3 Super Bowl rings. Instead, you have to identify guys with the physical tools to execute the scheme, and from those ranks draw the guys with the work ethic to be truly "professional." Reshad Jones has those things. He's not a 1st Round pick, but he's the kind of guy who should go in the 3rd or 4th round and play in some role from day 1.
Reshad is not likely to show up on the police blotter. He will show up on special teams, and he'll be able to play either safety slot. In short, I will be pleasantly surprised if Reshad Jones turns into an All-Pro. But I'll be just as surprised if he's not on an NFL roster for the next 3-5 seasons. As Ferris Bueller would say "If you're in the market for a versatile safety and you have the means, I highly recommend you pick him up."
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