Two days remain before the start of the 2015 NFL Draft. That's great news for SB Nation's Dan Kadar, who can finally transition from the theoretical to the empirical. In his second-to-last mock draft of the year, Kadar sees the Green Bay Packers selecting Connecticut corner Byron Jones with the 30th overall pick.
This isn't far from the first time Kadar has mocked a cornerback to the Packers. LSU's Jalen Collins became a near automatic selection for him at No. 30 during February and March. Like Collins, the intrigue with Jones centers on his considerable athletic gifts. The cornerback set a world record in the board jump at the NFL Scouting Combine. He also finished at or near the top of his position group in the vertical (44 1/2"), 3-cone drill (6.78 seconds), 20-yard shuttle (3.94 seconds) and the 60-yard shuttle (10.98 seconds).
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of the Jones selection is the idea of pairing him with Green Bay assistant Joe Whitt. Whitt, of course, helped develop Tramon Williams and Sam Shields into Pro Bowlers. He also oversaw the progression of Casey Hayward and Davon House, both of which are expected to start for their respective teams in 2015. Jones has more raw talent than all of them, and Whitt could mold him into a star.
But Jones doesn't come without risks. Counting his redshirt season, he spent his first three years at Connecticut at safety. He shifted to cornerback in 2013, starting 11 of 12 games. He only played in seven more games before a shoulder injury ended his college career. While his recovery appears to have gone well, future shoulder injuries remain a concern.
Here's what Kadar had to say about the pick:
30. Green Bay Packers: Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut
After losing Tramon Williams and Davon House, the Packers could target a ready-to-play cornerback like Jones. He has the size Green Bay prefers at the position and is an athletic marvel.