On Monday, the rest of the world got a glimpse of what Bob Diaco has been saying for months: Byron Jones is legit.
At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, working out with other defensive backs, the former UConn cornerback's broad jump measured 12 feet, 3 inches. Not only is that eight inches better than the previous combine mark, but it would have been a world record (12'2" has stood since 1968).
"My personal [broad jump] record was 11-7. That's what I was doing at the training facility, and I obviously broke that," Jones told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It feels good to put a [personal record] up."
There's more: Jones' vertical was 44.5 inches, just a half-inch behind the combine-best 45 inches Chris Conley jumped on Saturday. Jones didn't run at the combine -- he'll likely do that at his pro day on March 31, but NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said he texted Diaco, who thinks Jones will run in the 4.3s.
If that happens, expect Jones to, ahem, leap to the top of the list as one of the draft's best cornerbacks. He wisely points out that while all the attention is nice, at the end of the day, his game film is what matters most. And that's where Diaco comes in. The Huskies' coach has been talking up Jones for months.
"I think he will be one of the best players in the country,” Diaco said last summer. "Everyone will see it eventually when they put him in those compression shorts [at combines]. You will see a tall, long, lean and fast and explosive and athletic player. His numbers, with our developmental process, you are going to see at the end of the day one of the best tangibly gifted cornerback players in the country.
"[Y]ou factor in this incredible résumé socially, academically, he's an 'A' student and on all the committees. At that position, he has some intangible traits that are an incredible commodity."