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Charlie Jones
NFL Draft

Why Charlie Jones’ Skill Set Translates To Sundays

  • Ryan Fowler
  • December 5, 2022
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As we approach mid-December, Purdue wide receiver Charlie Jones hasn’t received his necessary spotlight—it’s overdue. An athlete that initially earned his way into the lineup by way of special teams during his time at the University of Iowa, Jones’ legit 4.3 speed has placed a lofty ceiling on his potential as NFL draft talk ramps up here in the coming months. While linear ability doesn’t always transfer to being a productive football player when pads are strapped on, the way in which Jones creates separation on the outside is a translatable skill set to the highest level of the game.

Many receivers would tell you they wish they were blessed with top-end burst or true game-breaking speed, and for a majority, a lapse in one area often finetunes another. But for Jones, he’s blossomed as a talent that doesn’t just check boxes but bolds them when you flip on his tape. 

From edge rushers to corners, and all the positions in between, the Big Ten and ACC are no slouches when it comes to producing NFL talent and Jones was quickly tested this fall as to just how good he really is at the WR spot. He faced Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. in Week 1 and Syracuse’s Garrett Williams in Week 3, and while the senior pass-catcher wasn’t shadowed by the two highly touted perimeter defenders for a full 60 minutes, denying his production would be silly. With 12 catches for 153 yards and a touchdown against the Nittany Lions and 11 receptions for 188 yards and a trip to paydirt against the Orange, teams just flat-out haven’t found a way to counter him in 2022—and that was before the Big Ten Championship Game. 

You could say he’s a result of the pass-heavy Boilermakers’ offense or just a productive college pass-catcher. You could say that stat sheet stuffing doesn’t translate to Sundays. While all that could be true, microscoping Jones’ game has showcased a player to follow as we head into Bowl season.

His ability dives much deeper than numbers, and his success this past weekend in the Big Ten title game against Michigan highlighted, truly, one of the 2023 NFL Draft’s most interesting case studies. With a gaudy 16 targets, Jones reeled in 13 to the tune of 162 yards with snaps coming both inside as a slot weapon and on the perimeter to the right side of the formation. He was fantastic. Although Purdue was boat-raced and outclassed in all facets by the No. 2-ranked Wolverines, Charlie Jones was arguably the top performer on either side of the ball.

In a day in age where offenses can’t have enough weaponry within their arsenal, don’t overlook the 6-foot playmaker when it comes time for your NFL team to draft in April.

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Ryan Fowler