Lane College in Tennessee isn't a well-known producer of NFL talent, but by now most hardcore Vikings draftniks know about Lane's wide receiver prospect, Jacoby Jones. He was one of at least four wide receivers that were part of a mass visit of players two weeks ago at Winter Park.
Jones is expected to be a mid-round draft pick whose combination of size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and decent speed (4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash) are the start of his assets.
"A terrific athlete yet raw football player, Jones has dominate on the small-school level the past two seasons," Scout.com's draft preview guide reads. "At this point, a project who must develop his entire game."
Jones caught 68 passes for 822 yards and six touchdowns as a senior. For his career, he caught 200 passes for 2,750 and 21 TDs as a four-year starter and two-time all-conference selection. Scout.com says he is an "athletic skill player with a good degree of upside. Displays a sense of timing, gets vertical and uses his solid frame to shield away opponents. Has a burst of acceleration, plays to his 40 time and displays good eye-hand coordination catching the ball. Elusive handling the ball."
His run-after-the-catch ability could be one of things that makes him so attractive to the Vikings, who run a West Coast offense that puts a premium on that talent.
As for negatives, Scout.com says Jones is a "slow route-runner who gets choppy-footed into breaks. Unnecessarily lets the pass get inside him and does too much body catching."
Some of that could be attributed to the fact that Jones didn't start playing organized football until his junior year of college. He started his college career on a track scholarship, which has come in handy with his ability to return kicks and punts as well, another position where the Vikings could use assistance.
In his final three years of college, Jones returned 91 kickoffs for a 21.3-yard average and four touchdowns. During that same time span as a punt returner, he brought back 49 punts for an 11.2-yard average and one touchdown. All combined, he averaged 193 all-purpose yards per game in 2005 and 2006.
Mid-Round WR Among Vikings Visitors
Viking Update Top Stories
Sunday slant: Camp storylinesThe Minnesota Vikings have plenty to keep track of during training camp, from comeback attempts to starting battles to the unheralded to watch.
Viking Update7:05 AM
Vikings training camp guideLinks to the Minnesota Vikings training camp schedule, autograph schedule, directions, NFL calendar and more.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 8:59 AM
Vikings training camp autograph scheduleThe Minnesota Vikings have announced their training camp autograph schedule for 2017.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 6:07 AM
NFC North Rankings: Offensive linemenIn 2015, all four teams in the NFC North thought they had the pieces on their offensive line to carry them to the end of the decade. A lot has changed the last two years.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 5:34 AM
Vikings make pre-camp roster movesThe Minnesota Vikings made a bottom-of-the-roster release and signing on Friday, but they might not be done.
Viking UpdateFriday at 12:46 PM