Reakwon Jones is satisfied with what NFL scouts have seen of him. He has to be. There’s nothing more he’ll be able to show.
Jones wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. The only chance he would have to prove himself was his pro day. But when the coronavirus shut down IU sports, the pro day was canceled too.
“It’s adversity when your pro day gets canceled,” Jones said. “Opportunities will come again and they have come again. I’m just keeping my head down and continuing to work.”
Jones knew it was coming as soon as the NBA was postponed. He knew he’d long longer have his pro day, or private workouts, or any of the typical steps of the NFL draft process.
But even if he knew it was coming, even if he was beginning to prepare for how he’d adjust to not having a pro day, it was still a shock to see the official announcement of the cancellation.
“I was like, ‘Nah this ain’t gonna happen. No way. They’re going to find a way to make it work,'” Jones said. “That’s what I’m thinking in my head when I see all this. I’m thinking, ‘It’s going to change in two days, three days. They’re going to put the pro day back on.’ I don’t really dwell. When it was canceled it was canceled. There’s nothing I could do. I can only control what I can control.”
Jones started working out in Colorado, but came back home to Florida in March. He has a curfew now at his home in Florida due to the coronavirus.
He doesn’t have weights at home, but he has bands. He’s working on stretching and running. Whatever he can. All the gyms are closed.
Scouts have asked him what he’s been doing now that his resources have been limited by the coronavirus. His message has been the same since before any of the cancellations began.
“My mindset is to keep working, keep training,” Jones said. “And then get ready to play football because whoever comes calling, whatever happens, I’m just trying to be ready.”
Back in Florida, Jones has worked with former teammates Jonathan Crawford and Donavan Hale. They’ve hopped fences to get onto fields. That’s their only option to work out in the COVID-19 lockdown.
They focus on speed drills, trying to get faster because scouts won’t see Jones run a 40-yard dash. They work on footwork, making sure the details are perfect because scouts won’t see Jones in the 3-cone drill.
Jones has talked personally to the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers. His agent has also spoken to the Cleveland Browns among other teams. In total, seven teams have expressed interest in Jones.
NFL teams only have Jones’ film, and he believes that should be enough. Jones believes the work he’s done in Colorado and Florida since the final whistle of the Gator Bowl will help him be ready when he enters an NFL training camp. He knows he will enter a training camp as an even better player than what the film of his games and practices at IU will show.
“I am comfortable because any time I was on the field I gave it everything I’ve got,” Jones said. “I put it all out there. They’re going to see me on there. They’ve seen me practice, they’ve seen my games. You can’t hide from the film. I can’t be ashamed of that. I’m proud of what I put on film.”