WR James Jones, Free agent

HT: 6-1, WT: 207, Born: 3-31-1984, College: San Jose State, Drafted: Round 3

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2014 Projections

David Dodds15.
Bob Henry16.
Jason Wood16.
Maurile Tremblay16.

Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]

Overall: J McCown (171), D Walker (172), James Jones (173), M Lee (174), D Baldwin (175)
Position: B Hartline (160-WR57), K Britt (166-WR58), James Jones (173 - WR59), M Lee (174-WR60), D Baldwin (175-WR61)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

PPR Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]

Overall: T Kelce (170), James Jones (171), D Allen (172),
Position: K Britt (153-WR58), M Lee (167-WR59), James Jones (171 - WR60), D Baldwin (175-WR61), A Dobson (178-WR62)
Click here for a comparison of these players.


James Jones has spent his entire seven year career as a Green Bay Packer, catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. In the offseason he left the Packers to join the Oakland Raiders where he'll likely catch passes from Matt Schaub. Jones should be the WR1 in Oakland, a position he was never asked to fill in Green Bay. In his 7 years as a Packer he topped 100 targets just once, in 2012. That was also the year that he caught a career high 14 touchdown passes. While Jones struggled with injuries in 2013, he played all 64 games in the 4 previous years. At 30 years old, Jones is expected to bring some much needed veteran leadership to the Raiders receiving corps. Jones has never topped 65 catches or 1000 yards in a season but until last season he was a consistent red zone option.

2014 Schedule


2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - While James Jones was on the field for all 62 offensive snaps, he was targeted just twice as the 49ers did a very good job of covering him and Aaron Rodgers had far more success going elsewhere. Jones was targeted just two times. The first he dropped. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha had good position on him, but Jones still got up in the air and the ball was catchable. Jones was late closing his hands around it and the pass bounced off his chest and hit the turf. The second pass was overthrown and likely a ball Rodgers was just looking to get rid of.

Week 2 - After being shut down by the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1, resulting in essentially being ignored by Aaron Rodgers, Jones had a huge game. He caught 11 of 12 passes and alternately blew past and outmuscled the coverage placed on him. The Washington secondary just couldn’t figure out a way to duplicate the success the 49ers had previously. Jones was a big beneficiary of the effect that the Packers’ decision to throw short often in the first quarter had, as he was often left in single coverage and rarely saw any safety attention over the top. In fact, Jones saw a lot of action early on those short passes as well, his first two catches coming on screens and his third on a short out route. Once the second quarter started though, Jones and quarterback Aaron Rodgers began to stretch the field a bit. The first two receptions Jones had in the second quarter were a 27 yard pass down the middle and a 57 yard catch and run down the left sideline. On the 27 yard pass, Rodgers had a tremendous amount of time and was able to wait until Jones got open behind the linebackers but in front of the deep safety—a no-man’s land of coverage. Rodgers delivered a perfect pass and hit Jones in stride so the receiver was able to get another five yards after the catch. The bigger reception was a play during which Jones and Rodgers were able to take advantage of a massive breakdown in the secondary. On the play, two of Washington’s linebackers stayed in the middle of the field in coverage and one stepped up to cover the slot receiver. That pulled up one of the safeties to reinforce the linebackers and resulted in just one safety helping support two corners on opposite sides of the field. Rookie corner David Amerson lines up on Nelson and when the ball was snapped, clearly thought the safety was switching to his side. Whether he didn’t see the safety and linebacker shift or the remaining safety was supposed to support him and blew the call is unclear. However, the result was a wide open Jones and a big gain. Jones did fumble the ball, though it was harmless and an example of some great effort. With just seconds left in the first half, Jones took a short pass along the right sideline and tried to fight his way for a touchdown. As he dove for the pylon, the ball came out of his hands and hit the pylon, resulting in a turnover and a touchback. Jones was only targeted twice after that, though that was in part because the offense throttled back a bit.

Week 3 - James Jones had a lot of success early on some shorter routes, but almost every time he stretched the field he was so tightly covered that he was lucky to even touch the ball. In one case, he couldn't and the result was an Aaron Rodgers touchdown. It's not clear on the play if Jones didn't like the inside route and changed it or if he was supposed to cut outside and Rodgers read something wrong. Whatever the reason, Jones started to head back towards the sideline but cornerback Terance Newman stayed home and Rodgers threw the ball right at him. There was some sort of breakdown in communication there, though Rodgers had been a bit erratic all game long, so it could have just been an unusually terrible pass. Overall, Jones was hampered just like the rest of the passing offense by a combination of good coverage and some below average quarterback play.

Week 5 - Aaron Rodgers looked for James Jones an awful lot on Sunday, quite often on vertical routes like a near-touchdown late in the second quarter. Jones ran a “Go” route on Lions cornerback Chris Houston (who he abused multiple times during the game) and had a few steps on him. Rodgers delivered a near perfect ball which just glanced off Jones’ fingertips. The two would connect on the exact same play during the next quarter for an 83-yard touchdown. This time, Jones completely left Houston in the wind as he had almost five yards on the corner when Rodgers’ ball arrived. After that there was no way anyone was catching Jones. He nearly had another touchdown a quarter later when Rodgers threw a perfect pass just past coverage (Houston again) but Jones was unable to get both feet in before going out of bounds. Aside from that, Jones played a very good game with the only blemish being that he was unable to execute a good Lambeau Leap twice.

Week 6 - Jones limped of the field early in the game Sunday, clearly favoring his leg after looking like he hyperextended it while blocking on a run play. He later walked to the locker room under his own power and returned with his helmet off, done for the day. Right now it sounds like the injury isn’t too bad, and he was seen icing his shin after the game. If he’s back this weekend, he’ll step into a major role with Randall Cobb out.

Week 9 - In his first game back from a knee injury, James Jones only played 28 snaps, while Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin played 55 and 49 respectively. Jones was eased in, but you can expect a bigger role going forward as he saw three targets to Boykin’s single pass. This week he was primarily in three-wide sets, with Boykin and Nelson in for two-receiver formations. In general, Jones looks healthy and ready to take over his role in the offense so that will switch now that he’s 100%. Like the rest of the offense, Jones had a rough day of it with backup quarterback Seneca Wallace struggling but hopefully that will change going forward.

Week 10 - Still getting back into the rhythm of the offense after missing a few games due to injury, Jones had a few rough moments but was very reliable overall. The rust showed most on a near-touchdown at the end of the first half. On the play, Jones was very well covered by the defender, but quarterback Scott Tolzien threw it to him anyway. It was a laser throw, one the defender didn’t even seem to know was coming. Jones did a great job of going up to get it, but didn’t seem to know how close to out of bounds he was, placing his right foot just out of bounds before trying to shuffle his feet together in bounds. Other than that, Jones looked pretty good on a lot of short and intermediate passes. The only other down-note was not Jones’ fault—an interception in the third quarter. On the play, Tolzien held the ball a long time and then forced a pass to Jones, who was well covered. It was a bad pass, high and behind Jones and almost directly at the trailing coverage. The ball deflected off the defender’s hands and linebacker Demeco Ryans made an outstanding grab to pick the ball off.

Week 11 - The thought process going into this week was that James Jones would see a little more work now that he was healthy, but instead he looks as though he’s become the third wheel. That might be because Jones really isn’t 100%, or that the two just haven’t found a rhythm yet. Early on, that nearly cost the Packers an interception when Tolzien overthrew Jones on a slant route and the ball deflected off Jones’ hands and was almost picked off. The two did hook up for a big gain early on in the second, when Jones ran a “fly” route and got inside position on Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara. Tolzien executed a nice playaction fake, looked off the defense with a glance to his right, then delivered the ball perfectly, inside and away from Amukamara. The throw was a little bit off and Jones stumbled once he had it, but it was a very nice sequence otherwise. Unfortunately, Jones was also the target on one of Tolzien’s interceptions. Jones was running an “in” route and looked wide open, with cornerback Trumaine McBride tailing him. Tolzien didn’t see linebacker Jon Beason underneath and delivered what otherwise would have been a decent pass. However Beason leaped up and extended his arms to intercept the ball. Jones dropped the next ball thrown his way (his first drop of the season), then is overthrown on his next target. Overall it seems as though the two have some more work to do before they become a potent combination.

Week 12 - In the constantly shifting rotation of Green Bay Packers wide receivers, Sunday was apparently James Jones’ turn to shine. It was clear early on Jones wasn’t wasting any chances he got. On his first catch (an 8-yarder for a first down) Jones caught the ball short of the first down by about three yards. With two defenders hanging on him, Jones fought his way to the first down. He also showed some intense concentration, as the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage but Jones had no problems hauling it in. Jones nearly had an early touchdown on a crisp pass by quarterback Scott Tolzien, but cornerback Xavier Rhodes made a great play to break the pass up. Rhodes was a thorn in Jones’ side from much of the game but the Packers were quick to attack whenever Rhodes took a breather or shifted to cover someone else. It paid off at the end of the fourth quarter when, trailing by three, the Packers needed to go on fourth down. The Vikings jumped offsides and Flynn knew he had a free play. He saw that Rhodes was not on Jones and threw a duck towards Jones. The ball was short but defensive back Marcus Sherels couldn’t turn in time and Jones made the easy catch for a big first down.

Week 13 - Besides the tackles, guards and quarterback Matt Flynn, James Jones and Jordy Nelson were the only players on the field for all 43 offensive snaps. Even for the few targets Jones got, life was made harder as Flynn kept doing things like throwing deep when Jones was blanketed in double coverage late in the second quarter, or overthrowing Jones on a simple sideline pass. Even when Jones caught a ball thrown his way, he had to overcome Flynn’s passes. On his 56-yard reception in the fourth quarter, the pass was short and forced Jones to leap inside, over the defender, to make a play. Jones made a great play to pull the ball in and not just deflect it so the pass wouldn’t be intercepted. None of Jones catches were uncontested and none of them were easy, but he did an outstanding job of making an effort on all of them.

Week 14 - Quarterback Matt Flynn and receiver James Jones are starting to develop a little bit of chemistry and timing. This week, Flynn hit Jones with some nice passes on some shorter routes. They weren’t all gems—for example; the defense was not remotely fooled by the screen pass in the second quarter which went of negative yards—but Jones was able to dig a low throw for a catch late in the fourth. Overall, Jones is starting to look a lot like his old self—though he and the offense have a lower ceiling by Flynn’s limitations.

Week 15 - It was a long, hard day for James Jones, who pretty much peaked with the first catch of the day. On that play he ran a slant, catching the ball eight yards into the route and then turned upfield. He then made multiple would-be tacklers miss as he ran the ball for an extra 31 yards. After that though, he had a really hard time making a catch. Some of that was the Dallas coverage which was very good on Jones. Some of it was because of poor throws by Matt Flynn. Flynn has a tendency to underthrow his receivers—one time involving Jones the ball was thrown so short that cornerback Brandon Carr looked like the target (and should have picked it off). Flynn did deliver a very nice throw on the 3-yard touchdown Jones caught late in the fourth quarter. Jones ran a snort comeback out and Flynn delivered a perfect pass outside to Jones where only his receiver could make a play. Despite that catch, it was really difficult for Jones to have much of an impact on the game.

Week 16 - The most amazing play of James Jones’ day was when he stole an interception from the Steelers’ Ike Taylor in the first quarter. On the play, Jones was perfectly covered by Taylor, who stepped in front of the pass. At which point Jones just flat-out stole the ball from Taylor, saving Flynn from another interception. Aside from that though, Jones and Flynn were mostly on the same page. Their timing and ability to connect was in stark contrast with the other receivers and Flynn.—as evidenced by their 75% completion rate as opposed to the 44.4% to all other receivers. Jones also seemed to find a little more space in his coverage—he seemed to get more cushion from the defenders than Jordy Nelson or Jarrett Boykin did and Flynn was able to take advantage of it.

Week 17 - Jones caught every pass thrown his way save one. Every pass was on a short route (many on screens) and left Jones to run the ball for a few extra yards, which he was able to do. Once Jones got the ball in his hands, he ran hard, juking defenders and delivering hard hits at the end of the play. Jones was a key possession receiver during the game, and was able to take advantage of some of the attention being paid to Jordy Nelson.

Week 18 - Jones’ biggest play was the one he didn’t make. On a deep route down the middle, Aaron Rodgers threw the ball a little short and late, but Jones was able to leap up to make the catch. Unfortunately, the ball went through Jones’ hands and hit him in the face before falling to the turf. Jones dropped another big catch early in the fourth quarter, though that was a much more difficult catch to make. Still, the ball was in his hands and he couldn’t hang on. Jones just appeared to misjudge where the ball would end up.