By the time the seventh round arrived in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts had already selected 10 players, and two of those players were corners. However, with two picks left in the seventh and final round, the Colts weren’t done. Indianapolis concluded the draft by selecting a third corner in Jaylon Jones, and an offensive lineman in Jake Witt, both in the seventh round.
On Wednesday, after Jaylon Jones made the 53-man roster for the Colts, Chris Ballard revealed during a press conference that drafting Jones wasn’t his choice. In fact, he expressed that he had doubts. However, Ballard shouted out Indy’s Southwest Area scout Anthony Coughlan for convincing the team to draft Jones. Explaining that he wasn’t initially sold on Jones, Ballard said that Coughlan “fought like a dog” because he believed in Jones’ talent.
Now, after training camp and the preseason, Ballard is glad he and the team listened to Coughlan, because as Ballard put it, Jaylon Jones is going to be really good.
Jaylon Jones has made Chris Ballard a believer
Ballard was effusive in his praise of Coughlan and Jones. When asked about Indy cutting fifth-round corner Darius Rush, Ballard explained that it was tough becuase Rush is a really talented player, however, he named Jones as the reason that Rush was cut. Jones shined throughout the preseason and training camp, and he was ultimately the day-three corner from the 2023 Draft that the team decided to keep.
It’s great news that Jones is proving to be a good player, because all offseason, it has been clear that Indianapolis needs young corners to step up. Currently, Dallis Flowers and Darrell Baker Jr. are listed as the starters, but Jaylon Jones is also in the mix. With JuJu Brents also on the roster, Indianapolis has four young corners who are in their first two years in the NFL. If they continue to showcase their talent, this group that was a question mark for Indy could grown into a strength.