A transfer from Troy, Marcus Jones has blossomed with the Houston Cougars since transferring over the 2019 season. He spent time at both boundary cornerback and free safety for Houston. An electric special teams returner and sticky man coverage prospect, Jones will most certainly be under the watchful eyes of most NFL general managers in Mobile.
Jones best projects to the next level as a strong slot cornerback who can support in the run game with his tackling and pursuit ability and play sticky man coverage throughout the game. He also adds special teams ability as an All-American kick returner and can provide explosive return ability immediately.
Slot CB – #8 Houston
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: Enterprise (Enterprise, AL)
HS Rating: 3 star (0.8022)
Phil Steele: PS#381
Marcus Jones Scouting Report
Very good speed, especially as an athlete. As a reactionary athlete, he wasn’t as quick. Excellent hustle and effort – made a huge play and prevented a touchdown from across the field against Texas Tech. Acceleration looks good. Lacks some upper body strength to help him control the tackle or get off of a block. Good change of direction. Excellent recovery ability. Works himself back into plays with positioning.
Decent, not great, tackler. Attempts to wrap up but slingshots himself and tries to bring down the ball carrier with him. Not the most effective technique. Ridiculous range. Very strong pursuit angles. It felt like every play he was saving a touchdown from across the field.
Very solid man coverage ability. Reacts well and doesn’t overcommit throughout the route. Turns and locates the ball very well for the most part. Struggled with that against bigger receivers where he looked overwhelmed. Uses the sideline well as an additional defender. Works back inside of the route playing the ball very well. Typically not very physical throughout the route, but turns very physical at the catch point. Scrappy. Very savvy in the little zone coverage that Houston played. Incredible awareness and recognized concepts quickly. Doesn’t look like he has much of a jamming technique. Prefers to play in a follow/trail technique and keep his positioning. Does that very well. Isn’t very physical through press coverage.
What we want to see from Marcus Jones in Mobile
- The main question in Jones’ evaulation right now is whether Jones can contribute on the boundary or if he’s exclusively a slot corner at the next level. Jones performed well as a boundary cornerback for Houston, but struggled tremendously with bigger receivers – especially when working deep down the field. His struggles were mostly caused by his inability to handle the big body and track the football at the same time, where he drew several pass interference calls battling down the field. Will he be able to step up to the bigger bodies and clean that technique up for Mobile?
- Just to add to the first note – Asante Samuel Jr entered the league as a smaller cornerback and has performed well on the boundary so far. Samuel is a little bit more of a zone coverage corner, something Jones didn’t do much in the Houston scheme. How effective can he be in zone coverage?
Pre-Senior Bowl projection
The athletic tools and traits are there for Marcus Jones to play as an NFL cornerback. He’s very quick, fast, alert, and reacts well. Plus, his special team’s ability makes him an impact player immediately for an NFL club.
We project Jones going in the second/third-round range. His lack of size will be a bit of a factor, but his ball skills and remarkable man coverage ability will certainly be coveted at the next level.