2022 NFL Draft Spotlight: Houston cornerback/kick returner Marcus Jones

2022 NFL Draft Spotlight: Houston cornerback/kick returner Marcus Jones

Cornerback may not be the first position you think of when you think about the Seahawks’ current needs heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. Unless you’re in love with Ahmad Gardner (which I am) or Derek Stingley Jr. (which I am not).

Yet if you look at Seattle’s roster right now, the only cornerback under contract beyond 2022 is last year’s 4th-round pick, Tre Brown. And Seattle’s best cornerback from last season, DJ Reed, is now on the New York Jets’ roster, having signed a 3-year, $33M deal with them in free agency.

Enter the NFL Draft.

This is, of course, the point where I insert a comment about how the the current regime has never selected a cornerback higher than #90 overall (Shaquill Griffin, 2017) and tell you not to get your hopes up about that changing this year.

Alternatively, I could point to Mookie’s recent article in which he told us: “Don’t expect the Seahawks to make any splash moves at cornerback.”

But what if Seattle did make a splash move? What if the Seahawks selected a cornerback before #90?

Answer:

__________

Now, despite my unbridled optimism and fan-boy crush, I don’t for a second think that Seattle will use the #9 pick on Ahmad Gardner. Mostly because I don’t think Gardner will still be on the board when Seattle goes on the clock. Especially not after Gardner came in at #2 on The Leggy 100. (Yeah, that’s a thing.)

If Gardner IS on the board at #9, I pray that John Schneider and Pete Carroll shove the Commissioner out of the way as they rush to the podium and scream out Gardner’s name before breaking into a choreographed dance number.

Note: Yes, I know that JSPC won’t actually be AT the Draft in Las Vegas, but I’m dreaming right now so don’t you dare wake me up.

Sadly, my gut tells me that my draft crush on the UW’s Kyler Gordon is also going to be unrequited.

I am, however, holding onto hope that maybe, just MAYBEthe Seahawks will edge the needle up just a little bit on this tired narrative about their disinterest in using early picks on cornerbacks and decide to grab a player who is both a super-sticky corner and an exhilarating return man at #72 overall.


Markus Jones.


As Michael STUFR Edwards wrote in The ultimate 2022 Seahawks targeted mock draft on Friday:

Don’t tell me he is short and what he can’t do on the perimeter. Watch his highlights and try not to fall in love with this guy. As a CB his comp is DJ Reed and as a returner, he is the best prospect to come out in recent memory. Even if he never makes it as a CB, he has the potential to be a pro-bowl return in year one and I would draft him in the third to get that. Oh, by the way, he also played WR at times and was a super dynamic gadget threat. With that being said, he held his own as an outside CB in college and should easily transition into a solid CB slot in the pros. This is my number one draft crush and we need to make this happen. Like right now.

I’ve done over 300 mock drafts the past couple months and I grab Marcus Jones about 90% of the time. In fact, pretty much the only times I don’t select Jones are when another team takes him way too early.

Why do I love Jones?

Let me answer that with a question.

How many players can say they’ve scored a kick return touchdown, a punt return touchdown, an interception return touchdown, and a receiving touchdown?

Stats-wise, this diminutive powerhouse allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete only 50.45% of their passes against him the past 2 seasons and he had more INTs (6) than TDs allowed. His passer rating against was 63.3 in 2020 and 60.4 in 2021.

Long story short, this guy is a baller.


highlights

To rephrase what STUFR said, I dare you to watch these videos and NOT fall in love – not just with Marcus Jones, but with what he could do for the Seahawks.

Note: The music that’s overlaid on the first video isn’t suitable for some environments.

Marcus Jones: Most Versatile Player in College Football (6:34)

__________

Lest anyone think he’s a one-year wonder, here’s a video that was posted in January 2021.

Marcus Jones: Elite Cornerback & Nation’s Best Returner (5:28)

__________

And, for a human interest angle, here’s a video that talks about his primary off-field interest (aka The Artist Known as Elliot.J).

The Two Sides of Marcus Jones (3:31)


Poll time!

What say the 12s? Would you like to see the Seahawks select Marcus Jones with their 3rd round pick (#72 overall)?

Poll

Would you like to see the Seahawks use their 3rd round pick (#72 overall) on Houston cornerback Marcus Jones?



Bonus coverage

For those that don’t think CB is a need this year, here are the dead money cap hits for all of the players who are currently on the roster and are presumably competing for snaps at RCB, LCB, or SCB:

Tre Brown was our 4th-round pick last year, played well before suffering a season-ending injury, and is presumably “safe” in 2022. The rest, not so much. ANY of them could be cut (or traded) at an time with very little cost to the Seahawks.

And, as mentioned in the intro, only Tre Brown is signed beyond this season.

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