PFF scouting report: Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama
Below is the PFF draft profile for Alabama’s Cyrus Jones, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Outside corner, potential to move inside and play the slot
Stats to know:
Had seventh-highest CB grade in the draft class but surrendered six touchdowns in 2015
What he does best:
• Plays the run aggressively. Comes up hard and fast against run plays or screens to his side and will fight for position rather than just occupy space and turn it back inside. Had a top-10 run defense grade and the highest coverage grade of those ten corners
• Plays both man and zone coverage pretty comfortably – not a player that is locked into a particular scheme, could play in any defense in the NFL
• Sticks with receivers well on the scramble drill, doesn’t get caught out by double moves and late breaks to space to get open when the play breaks down
• Tough to shake in man coverage in particular, doesn’t allow much separation in his routes when covering and makes the offense earn the yards most of the time
• Has a strange tendency to switch off down the field, slow up, stop running or just allow a route to break away from him too easily. Has given up 10 TDs over two seasons which is far too much for a player of his ability
• On the small side. 5-10 will put some teams off, and his arm length doesn’t make up for it (31 3/8 inches), but he is far stronger than he should be at that size and is feisty enough to counter it most of the time
• Sometimes doesn’t try and find the football in man coverage, will have good position but remained locked on to his receiver and never attempt to play the ball in the air. Will likely lead to flags at the next level where officiating is stricter
• Only average ability to stop and drive on routes in front of him, leads to some easy completions
Alterraun Verner, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I think Jones is more scheme diverse than Verner, who is clearly best suited to a zone coverage scheme, but they compare closely in terms of being physical, aggressive and feisty corners that don’t tick all of the boxes from a size standpoint.
On most downs, Cyrus Jones is an excellent cornerback that overcomes a relative lack of size with fantastic aggression, decisiveness and physicality, but the plays where he switches off — or for some reason doesn’t seem to give 100 percent — cost him and his team. Teams will need to identify why those plays happen and if they can find a solution to them, because they are by far his biggest drawback, and the issue that is keeping him from being discussed among the best cornerbacks in this draft.