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Senior Bowl 2017 Interview – Zay Jones

Steve Shoup

 

Zay Jones – WR (East Carolina)

 

Measurables: 

Hgt: 6 ’1⅞”     

Wgt:  202 lbs. 

Hand:  9”        

Arm: 32 ¼”     

Wing:  77 ¾“

 

PROFILE:  As a freshman in 2013, earned selection to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. He played in all 13 games (eight starts) that year and was the second-leading receiver with 62 catches for 604 yards (9.7 ypr) and five touchdowns. During his sophomore season, Jones again  ranked second on the team in receptions (81), while finishing third in receiving yards (830) and receiving yards per game (63.8). He produced three 100-yard receiving games that year. Jones started all 12 games in his junior season. He became the eighth Pirate in school history to eclipse the single-season 1,000 receiving yards milestone, catching 98 passes for 1,099 yards – an average of 11.2 yards per reception. He ranked fourth nationally in receptions per game (8.2).  A Second-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection, Jones led the league in receptions per game that year. In his 2016 senior season, Jones earned an AP Second-Team All-American selection and was named a First-Team All-American by The Sporting News and ESPN. He also received First-Team All-America Athletic Conference honors. He led all NCAA FBS receivers in receptions (158), receptions per game (13.20), receiving yards (1,746) and receiving yards per game (145.5). He set ECU and AAC single-season records for receptions and receiving yards. Jones became the first Pirate to register a pair of 200-yard receiving games (206/Tulsa, 212/Navy) and was just one of four FBS receivers to record multiple 200-yard games last season. He is the son of former ECU standout linebacker, Robert Jones, who was a part of three Super Bowl championship teams with the Dallas Cowboys (1993, 1994, 1996).

 

On what it meant to him to be a part of the Senior Bowl event.

It’s truly a blessing. To come from East Carolina and be amongst Florida State, Clemson, Alabama and these top-tier programs and guys. It was truly amazing. I really enjoyed the experience. I made good friends with O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, Cooper Kupp, Trent Taylor, Amara Darboh, Jalen Robinette. So it’s just so much fun to just meet all these people.

 

On his thoughts about being able to go through the week here at the Senior Bowl  facing off against a little higher level of competition than he may have faced week in and week out at ECU.

My mindset is, it doesn’t matter who is in front of me. The color that your jersey is, or the stick on the side of your helmet, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to go out and play to the best of my ability, whether you’re a Power 5, PAC 10, SEC, ACC, FCS, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, when you get to the NFL, they’re not going to care where you came from. It’s about performing and doing a job. So that’s my goal, to just go out and perform.

 

On how he would grade his Senior Bowl week performance.

I won’t put a letter or a number on it, but I feel as though I did my best. I come out whether it’s at practice or the game and just try and compete at a high level every single day. Ultimately, it’s going to be left up to the reporters and analysts to break down my game.

 

On whether there’s anything else he feels that he needs to prove to NFL scouts.

Yes! I have a lot of work still to be done. I think maybe my speed is still being questioned or whatever excuses or statements people come up with. I mean, my job is not done. I have so much room for improvement to go. I still have the combine and the pro day left, so I’m just going to bust my tail and do the best I can at those two events.

 

On what the whole draft process has been like for him.

I really don’t think much of it. It’s just the game of football. It’s just all football and I love the game. It’s is my job. This is how you wake up in the morning and go to your job – you don’t think much of it, you just go out and do it. And I may get scrutinized more, but at the end of the day, this is what I signed up for. I don’t worry about it, I just go out and try and perform the best I can.

 

On what traits he feels he can bring to an NFL organization from the day he first walks into their facility.

Football-wise, great hands, versatility and being able to stretch the field. Other than that, just a positive energy, coachable. I would consider myself fun to be around. I just try to bring positive light to the team and just try and motivate people however I can.

 



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