With a draft class rich with runningback talent—Ronald Jones II was unable to set himself apart from the top tier backs and left the 2018 NFL Combine after injuring his hamstring during his 40-yard dash.
Grimacing in pain after running a 4.66 time, it was later revealed by NFL.com’s Ian Rappaport that Jones was nursing the injured hamstring for the past three weeks.
Jones was unable to perform in the remaining tests and drills, so we’re left with inconclusive testing marks. Here’s how he measured out on Thursday:
Hand: 8 6/8
Wingspan: 74 3/8
His size comes as no surprise as he made the jump to 200 lbs. after playing his first two seasons as a at 185 lbs. Even though Jones has never had turnover issues, the small hands might concern some scouts with his ability to secure the ball, in addition to his almost diminutive size.
Regardless of size, Jones was nothing short of amazing his final two seasons as USC’s bellcow—particularly his junior season. Finishing his year 1550 yards and 19 touchdowns, the muscle Jones added this past summer was evident with strong runs that where he displayed finishing ability not typically seen in smaller backs.
Often compared to All-Pro Jamaal Charles, both backs share an innate playmaking ability despite their sub-six foot, 200-pound frames. Their explosiveness out of the field propels them to give an almost unreal momentum to give spectacular plays or as Jones displayed all last season—the ability run over a defender.
With Saquon Barkley the consensus best back in this class, Jones didn’t necessarily lose ground to the second tier of backs like Derrius Guice, Kerryon Johnson and Georgia backs. However, it would be surprising to see teams pass on him throughout the first two rounds.
With USC’s Pro Day coming up on March 21, Jones was already slated to participate—but intrigue now grows after Friday’s disappointing outing.