At times his play was maddening but during his time at N.C. State it was clear Josh Jones always possessed impressive athleticism. Pro scouts recently witnessed Jones firsthand.
N.C. State hosted its Pro Day Monday and Jones was among several Wolfpack players who were able to strut their stuff in hopes of one day playing in the NFL.
Jones, who declared for the NFL draft the day after the Pack defeated Vanderbilt in the Independence Bowl, stood out among pro scouts.
While the times and measurables were not released to the public, N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren mentioned Tuesday that he felt things went well.
There is speculation that Jones improved his stock greatly with one NFL Network analyst saying he could even move into the first round of the upcoming draft.
“[Jones] proved what people thought he would be,” Doeren said. “He’s a big, really athletic guy. The questions people have on him are the same ones that they had before he went into it. Just, is he ready? He believes he is. That’s his job now, is to show all these guys in the interviews and drill work that he is. Then take advantage of the opportunity, but he’s done everything he can do physically at this point.”
All 32 NFL teams had representatives at the event. Other N.C. State players who participated included Bra’lon Cherry, Niles Clark, Matthew Dayes, Clark Eyers, Connor Haskins, Monty Nelson, Joseph Scelfo, Josh Sessoms, Jack Tocho, John Tu’uta, and Dravious Wright.
“It was outstanding,” he stated. “First of all, I thought it was really well organized. Coach [Des] Kitchings and Coach [Dantonio Burnette], do a good job with that. I thought our players did a nice job.
“I don’t have the times. They don’t give them all to us. Watching it, it looked like in different segments different guys really jumped out. I know Braylon ran well. You can hear a lot of guys talking about his 40-time. In the drill work, Matt Dayes really shined. Tocho ran well. You can see that. I thought Dravious did some really good things. There are so many of those guys and they all look at it differently. It’s hard to say what they thought of it.”
The Wolfpack will hold a scrimmage Friday as the Kay Yow Spring Game on April 1st is fast approaching.
N.C. State held a scrimmage the previous week and Doeren is pleased with where his team is currently at.
“It was good,” Doeren said. “First half, we did some situational stuff. Just some red zone skill and two-minute drills. We got into moving the ball and red zone team. It was back and forth. Defensively, they did a good job taking the ball away. We had a couple interceptions. One in two-minute, which was a real nice play.
“Offense bounced back which, I don’t like when one side of the ball dominates the day as the head coach. I like to see the fire get back on the other side. Those guys handled the adversity. That’s what it was like Friday, so that was good.”
The benefits of spring practice can be greater for early enrollees or those who redshirted the previous campaign.
With extra time to get acclimated to the system and an extra inch to impress, several young players have made a positive impression.
“Brock Miller has flashed, the linebacker,” Doeren said. “[He and] Germaine Pratt, both of those guys we expected them both to. Xavier Lyas, who’s the newcomer, you can really see his ability to run and he’s tough. Damien Darden and Dylan Autenrieth, two of the tight ends, are getting a lot of reps and doing some good things for us. Daeshawn Stephens made a couple nice catches Friday. There’s probably more that I’m missing, but those guys jumped out to me.”
FRASIER LEAVES TEAM
It never really got going at N.C. State for Johnny Frasier.
The much-ballyhooed recruit from Princeton, North Carolina arrived to great promise prior to the 2015 season but his college career has yet to get off the ground. Saddled with injuries and buried on the depth chart, Frasier decided to leave the team Friday.
N.C. State issued at short statement Friday evening.
“Rising redshirt sophomore running back Johnny Frasier has decided to leave the NC State football team to concentrate on academics and his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery.
Frasier played in four games from scrimmage in 2016 and on special teams in two other contests. He had 18 carries for 64 yards and scored one touchdown.”
Rob McLamb has covered NC State Athletics and recruiting for Pack Pride (Scout.com) since 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @RobMcLamb.