Charlie Jones NFL Draft Scouting Report
WR, Purdue Boilermakers
Charlie Jones is a former two-star recruit and three-year high school starting wide receiver. He struggled to find a school to call home for most of his college career. Jones began his career at the University of Buffalo where he redshirted as a freshman. His production at Buffalo was limited but he was able to showcase his special teams value. Jones transferred to Iowa for two seasons, the first he was forced to sit out the season due to the transfer rules. The light came on for Jones this season after transferring to Purdue. It quickly became clear that he was their WR1. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell made sure to get the football to Jones as much as possible. Jones caught 110 passes for 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns.
This season, Jones displayed his full skill set in the Boilermakers’ offense. Jones excels in the quick passing game. He is most effective on quick slants, crossers, and in/out-breaking routes. Jones has a savvy or veteran feel to his game. He understands leveraging and how to attack the defensive back’s base. His foot quickness proves to be valuable to move defenders off their spot creating easier access to space for Jones.
When the football is in flight, Jones tracks the ball confidently and attacks at its highest point. He has functional and admirable play strength. There are reps where he has to fight through contact in his route in order to get to his designated spot. I appreciate the competitiveness he plays with—it shows up battling at the catch point, after the catch, and in blocking sequences. Jones shapes up to be a headache versus zone-heavy defenses. His knowledge of leverage allows him to locate and settle into the soft spots in these coverage concepts. He does a good job selling the vertical stretch to create separation between him and the defensive back on routes coming back to the quarterback. Jones manipulates coverages with the pacing and tempo of his route stems. Quarterbacks will love his reliability as a pass-catcher—Jones has six drops in his career.
Jones’ release package is not overly diverse. He tends to repeat the same foot fire into a speed release either in or outside. NFL cornerbacks study wide receiver tendencies and will make this a bigger issue for Jones. As a route-runner, he has redeeming and translatable qualities. That being said, I have noticed he does not run with great pad level. This does not allow him to snap or break out of his routes with optimal quickness or speed to create and maintain separation. This seems to be part of the reason defenders are able to disrupt his route stems out of his breaks. Jones can make life in the NFL easier with more usage from his hands versus press alignment and bump-and-run coverage. Dislodging a cornerback’s hands in the contact window will allow him to stack them more quickly.
Projecting to the NFL, a team will be receiving a tough and hardworking player. Jones has offensive and special teams value. He enters as a depth/back-up receiver and punt/kick returner early in his career. He predominately aligned as an outside receiver this season. His pre-draft process, starting at the Senior Bowl and testing at the NFL Scouting Combine, will be critical for his draft stock. There is a path for him to carve out a role on offense.
Top Reasons to Buy In:
- Special teams value
- Strong hands
- Run-after-catch upside
Top Reasons For Concern:
- Only one year of production
- Questions regards to his athletic profile
- Developmental upside?
Size (NFL Combine):
Height: 5′ 11”
Weight: 175 lbs
Arm Length: 31 5/8”
Hand Size: 9”
Athletic Testing (NFL Combine):
40-yard Dash: 4.43s
Vertical Jump: 36.5”
Broad Jump: 10′ 4”
Bench Reps: 13 reps
Ideal Role: WR3 or slot receiver
Scheme Fit: Pro-style with spread concepts
TDN Consensus Grade: 71.50/100 (Fifth-Round Value)
- Parson Grade: 71.50/100
Written By: Damian Parson
Exposures: Penn State (2022), Syracuse (2022), Wisconsin (2022), Michigan (2022)
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