Julio Jones‘ impressive performance Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine became even more eye-opening Monday, when NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly revealed that the Alabama WR worked out despite a fracture in his foot.
Jones will have a screw inserted in the foot, which will be followed by an eight-week rehabilitation period.
“This guy really helped himself with that workout on Sunday,” Casserly said Monday on “NFL Total Access.” “Showed a little toughness, too.”
Casserly said it will be “touch-and-go” whether or not Jones will be able to work out before the April draft, but added that he had a conversation with a member of an unnamed team’s medical staff, who believes the wideout will fully recover.
“Teams probably aren’t going to shy away from him,” said Casserly, a former NFL general manager.
Jones was impressive during the gauntlet drills Sunday, showing fluidity, good hands and body control while maintaining focus. And while his broad jump was best among receivers (11 feet, 3 inches — 2 inches below the combine’s best since 2000), what caught notice was Jones posting the third-fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.39 seconds. Impressive, given that Jones measured in at 6-foot-2 3/4 and 220 pounds.
Casserly speculated Sunday that Jones would be drafted in the middle of the first round. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks doesn’t expect Jones to last past the Rams, who pick 14th.
“Jones ran faster today than I think anyone thought he would,” Casserly said Sunday. “I don’t think people thought this guy would run a 4.43 (the unofficial time on his first run). He doesn’t play that fast. But he’s a big guy who is physical.”
The news on Jones brought back memories of 2009, when Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree worked out at the combine with a stress fracture in his left foot. Crabtree eventually was taken with the 10th overall pick by the 49ers.