According to Adam Schefter, the Eagles had Felix Jones in for a workout today:
The Eagles did not draft a RB this year, which came as a mild surprise. I thought that RB was a deep and talented position in this year’s draft, but that is not how it played out for the Eagles. Over at the Morning Call, I wrote that the Eagles could be in the market for a veteran back, depending on what they thought of current #3 RB Chris Polk:
LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown may eventually form one of the best 1-2 combos in the NFL, but Chris Polk is still very much an unknown quantity. The #3 RB may get more work under Chip Kelly than an Eagles’ #3 back ever did under Andy Reid. Don’t be surprised to see the Eagles add a veteran RB if either Chip Kelly, or perhaps more importantly, special teams coordinator Dave Fipp doesn’t believe in Polk.
After his first two seasons in the NFL, Felix Jones looked like he was going to be scary good:
Those days are long gone, but Jones can still play in the pros, although he’s probably most useful as a #3 RB. Let’s first talk about his warts:
- Over the last 3 years, he has had 10 fumbles on just 529 touches. That is far too many. If he can’t hang onto the football, he is of no use whatsoever.
- He used to be a good kick returner when he first broke into the league, but that ability seems to have evaporated to some degree. On 11 returns last year (admittedly a small sample size), his long was 29 yards. But beyond those numbers, his returns just looked ugly, if memory serves me correctly. One return that stands out was the opening kickoff against Seattle, which he fumbled. That set the tone for what would probably be the Cowboys’ worst performance of the season.
- He has only missed 6 games over the last 4 years, but always seems to be nicked up.
- His yards per carry have gotten worse as his career has progressed. From 2008 to 2012: 8.9, 5.9, 4.3, 4.5, 3.6. In fairness, his offensive line in Dallas hasn’t done him many favors.
- He’s not going to be running down the field and making tackles on the kick coverage teams, which is something you would ideally want from your #3 RB.
- Good receiver. For his career, 81% of targets coming Jones’ way were complete. Obviously, a RB is going to have a much higher completion rate than a WR, but 81% is still very good. By comparison, Brian Westbrook caught 72% of passes that came his way since targets began being tracked in 2006. Jones also averaged 10.5 yards per catch, a great number, especially considering he didn’t have any really long plays that might skew those numbers. His long was 39.
- Above average in pass protection.
- Still has some burst. Again, he’s not the same guy has was when he was a rookie, but watch this run against the Ravens last year. There is still some ability here.
I think Felix Jones can still be a very good #3 back in the NFL, particularly as a 3rd down back, but first and foremost he cannot afford to fumble.