After Jim Anderson conducted Taiwan Jones' workout on Thursday, the running back coach had "an extensive meeting with Jones," writes the Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy. Conjecturing that Jones could be a third or fourth round pick for the Cincinnati Bengals, who have a need at the position, Reedy writes that Jones is "drawing comparisons" to Titans running back Chris Johnson, mostly because of his 4.32 40-yard sprint during his workout.
This past season Jones was the Big Sky Conference co-Offensive Most Valuable Player. He rushed for 1,172 yards, an average of 7.1 yards per carry, and 17 touchdowns for the FCS national champions. Jones averaged 145.2 yards rushing and 201.8 all-purpose yards a game, both second in FCS, and had 14 games where he ran for 100 yards or more in 23 career starts at running back. He came to Eastern Washington as a cornerback and played there his freshman year.
According to NFL Network's Steve Wyche, Jones has already met with the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns with another planned with the San Francisco 49ers. Jones will also visit the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins this week.
ESPN's DraftTracker ranks Jones as the 18th-best running back prospect (In$ider) with average grades in competitiveness, vision, patience, intangibles and size. His agility and acceleration grades as above average while his power and balance scores below average. His durability is the biggest concern.
Missed 2010 Weber State game with an abdominal injury. Broke left foot during 2010 playoff game against North Dakota State, underwent surgery and did not work out at the combine. Underwent surgery to repair sports hernia in December of 2009 and did not participate in 2010 spring practices. Injured both shoulders and a hand during 2009 season. Broke fibula in first week of 2008 preseason practices and missed much of the first part of the season.
According to Reedy, Jones believes that his broken foot is roughly 90% right now.
The Bengals are clearly in the market for a running back with Cedric Benson set to hit free agency, along with Brian Leonard and Cedric Peerman leaving Bernard Scott as the sole running back signed for 2011. Cincinnati has already reportedly worked out Penn State's Evan Royster, Louisville's Bilal Powell and Kansas State's Daniel Thomas.