Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones declared for the 2011 NFL Draft on Friday, and is already creating a buzz in the draft world. Playing at the FCS level, his exposure is lacking, but he makes up for it with eye-popping athleticism. In 2010, he garnered FCS All-American honors, rushing for over 1,700 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Eagles.
Not mentioned much before declaring, Jones is already on his way up, and could continue to rise ahead of April’s draft. CBS Sports already updated its rankings, moving Jones way up in its prospect rankings. Jones is now the No. 13 running back in the draft, projected as a fourth round pick. He’s right there with some of the bigger names you’ll recognize, including Jacquizz Rodgers, John Clay and Kendall Hunter. Not bad for a local kid from a small school — albeit one that just took over the national spotlight with its FCS Championship win.
We’ll keep an eye on where Jones' stock moves ahead of the draft, but it’s already looking like he could surprise as more discover who he is, and get a look at some of his game-film.
Stay tuned to our 2011 NFL mock draft StoryStream for the latest on Jones and others ahead of April’s NFL Draft.