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2011 NFL Draft: Eastern Washington's Taiwan Jones Declares

Eastern Washington All-American running back Taiwan Jones declared for the NFL Draft on Friday, opting to skip his senior season in favor of the NFL. Jones rushed for 1,742 yards in 2010, but missed the final two games of the playoffs with a broken foot. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Jones has the size and speed to be a factor at the next level, and chose to make the jump now, rather than risk injury in his senior season.

The news was reported by ESPN's Joe Schad, who called Jones a sleeper in the draft.

Calling a draft sleeper. Eastern Washington junior RB Taiwan Jones (1,742 yards/7.9 per) will enter the NFL draftless than a minute ago via web

Jones was second in the FBS in rushing yards and all purpose yards for game. In 2010, he found the end zone 14 times on the ground, with another three touchdowns coming in the receiving game. His efforts were a big reason why Eastern was able to make a run in the playoffs, though he wasn't able to play in Eastern's semifinal and final wins.

The NFL Draft takes place at the end of April. Jones will look to make an impression at the NFL combine, and through individual workouts, ahead of the draft in an effort to make the decision worthwhile. With plenty of upside and accolades at the FCS level, Jones could be one of those running backs that comes out of nowhere and contributes right away at the NFL level.