Explosive Safety Visiting Packers

Don Jones is a big-time athlete with plenty of intriguing potential. This champion sprinter posted a vertical jump better than any defensive back at the Scouting Combine.

Don Jones can run.

That's never a bad thing for a safety, and it's a big reason why he'll be making a pre-draft visit to meet with the Green Bay Packers.

A native of Town Creek, Ala., Jones won state championships in the 100, 200 and 400 meters at Hazelwood High School.

As a freshman at Arkansas State, he lined up at running back and averaged 8.2 yards on a combined 36 rushes and receptions. Academic issues, however, sent him to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Jones spent one season at MGCCC before returning to Arkansas State — M.D. Jennings' alma mater — a new man with a new position.

"I learned a whole lot (at MGCCC)," Jones told AL.com before the GoDaddy.com Bowl. "I learned how do stuff on time and be responsible so I can be a better man for the coaches. The coaches used to always be on me. So I came back with the attitude of trying to change myself, to change my image with my coaches."

Jones played safety for MGCCC in 2010 and stayed there for his two seasons in his second stint at Arkansas State. He had 54 tackles, one sack, one interception, one blocked kick and one safety in 2011 and 74 tackles and an interception as a senior.

With a Packers scout in attendance, Jones (5-11, 191) turned in an eye-popping 4.40 in the 40 with a 42-inch vertical and more-than-respectable 17 reps on the bench at his pro day. The best vertical jump among defensive backs at the Scouting Combine was 40.5 inches.

Jones is considered a late-round prospect. A scout told Packer Report that he's one of the "sleepers of the draft" who potentially could go much earlier than his media projection.

"I think they get a hard working, competitive player who knows the game of football well, a guy who likes to tackle in the open field, a leader by example," Jones told Scout.com's Aaron Wilson in February.

Packer Report has learned of 10 visits. Among them are South Carolina State safety Jakar Hamilton and Catawba cornerback Jumal Rolle.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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