Free Agent Profile: Cornerback Nathan "Nate" Jones


For all this talk of the Broncos becoming the Rocky Mountain Patriots, their secondary might need a new nickname as well.  Denver is playing host to a slew of free agents today, one of which is Miami cornerback Nathan Jones.  Last offseason, Denver brought in former Dolphin starters Andre' Goodman and Renaldo Hill, both of whom helped revamp a Broncos pass defense which ranked near the top of the NFL this past season. 

If the Broncos as a team are Patriots West, their secondary should receive a separate nickname...Miami Island, perhaps?

Jones, though he has taken a backseat to bigger names throughout his short career, is no slouch. 

 

 


Chad Ochocinco may be the NFL's most famous media entrepreneur, but Dolphins cornerback Nate Jones has a leg up on him. 
Nathan is currently working on a sitcom called "Jock Itch," which is a sports version of the television show, "Friends." While Nathan is the executive producer of the show, he is working closely with Andre Barnwell, a producer, director and writer for such television shows as "Comic View," "BET Live" and "Steve Harvey's Big Time Challenge," as well as the movie "The Way We Do It."

 Nathan Jones was born on June 15, 1982 in Newark, New Jersey.  Jones grew up in New Jersey where he dominated the high school ranks...As a running back.

Played running back and defensive back at Scotch Plains/Fanwood High School in Scotch Plains, N.J., where he was a first-team all-state selection as a senior ... That year, rushed for 2,474 yards and 36 touchdowns and was named the Offensive Player of the Year in Union County ... Recorded six interceptions on defense ... In a North Jersey 2 Group III quarterfinal playoff game, rushed for 362 yards and six touchdowns ...

After his time at Scotch Plains/Fanwood HS, Jones was offered a scholarship to Rutgers University.   In 2001, he lettered on the Rutgers track team as a sprinter, so the Broncos are looking at a kid who can really run.  Not only is he fast, but he's got some serious skill.

Was a four-year letterman at Rutgers (2000-03) ... Finished his career with 219 tackles, five interceptions, 18 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries ... Also returned 82 kickoffs for a 23.2-yard average with three touchdowns and blocked three kicks ... Was named the Big East Conference co-Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior in 2002 when he had a pair of 100-yard kickoff returns - including one at Syracuse and another at Tennessee ... In the Syracuse game, also blocked a field goal attempt that was returned 90 yards for a touchdown ... Was sixth in the nation in ‘02 with a 28.3-yard average on 26 kickoff returns, while also blocking two kicks ... In addition, posted a career-high 84 tackles on defense that year ... First collegiate interception came against Boston College as a sophomore in 2001 when he picked off a pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown ... Earned degree in finance.

Based on his college production, he appears to be a guy who is always around the ball, whether it is returning kicks/punts, picking off passes, forcing fumbles, picking them up, or blocking kicks.  The dude did it all in the scarlet red. 

Jones was a 7th round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, and saw significant playing time as a rookie on special teams.

Played in all 16 games with one start as a rookie ... Registered 31 tackles and a sack on defense ... On special teams, contributed a pair of stops while also returning two kickoffs for a 21.5-yard average ... Had four tackles in games vs. Cleveland (9/19), vs. Detroit (10/31), vs. Chicago (11/25) and at Seattle (12/6) ... In the Lions game, recorded the first sack of his NFL career when he dropped Joey Harrington for a 10-yard loss ... Initial start of NFL career came vs. Philadelphia (11/15) when the Cowboys opened in nickel package.

After spending his first four years in the NFL with the Cowboys, he signed a free agent deal with the Dolphins in 2008 (no surprise, following the Big Tuna). 

Jones has been invaluable to the Dolphins as a special teamer and nickel cornerback.  2009 was easily his best season as a pro, playing in all 16 games and recording a career high 54 tackles, a sack, ten passes defensed, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.  That is the kind of nickel cornerback the Broncos are looking for. 

This is a guy I was really set on the Broncos getting earlier this offseason, because not many young CB's with this speed and tackling ability come around at such a reasonable price.  With the uncapped year, it's uncommon that the Broncos are looking at many players under the age of 30 at all, and this guy is a rare exception.  I think his services would be more than welcome with the Broncos. 

(statistics via the Miami Dolphins official website)

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