Jacksonville Makes Matt Jones 21st Pick of Fir
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ record-setting quarterback Matt Jones was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 21st pick of the first round of the NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon in New York. Jones became the third Razorback in the past two years to be drafted in the first round of the draft after Shawn Andrews (Philadelphia Eagles) and Ahmad “Batman” Carroll (Green Bay Packers) were taken in the first round in 2004.
Jones was the second collegiate quarterback selected in the 2005 draft, although, he is projected by most scouting services as a tight end or wide receiver at the professional level. Only three collegiate wide receivers heard their names called before Jones in the first round. No tight ends were selected before Jones. He became the 20th all-time first round selection in Arkansas football history.
The Fort Smith [Ark.] Northside product is the first UA quarterback taken in the draft since Kevin Scanlon was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 12th round in 1980. Jones also became the highest drafted Razorback quarterback since Lamar McHan was the first overall pick in the 1954 draft. Only one other Razorback has been drafted by Jacksonville since the franchise’s inception in time for the 1995 season. Former Razorback wide receiver Emanuel Smith was the Jaguars’ sixth-round selection in 2000.
Jones became the 20th Razorback selected in the NFL Draft since Houston Nutt became Arkansas’ head coach in time for the 1998 season. He is the seventh former Hog to be drafted in just the past two seasons after six Razorbacks were tabbed in last year’s draft.
Jones leaves Fayetteville with a host of offensive records to his credit. He rushed for more yards (2,535) than any quarterback in Southeastern Conference history. His 7.38 yards-per-play average in individual total offense ranks second only to Florida’s Danny Wuerffel (7.75) in the history of the league. He also stands as the Razorbacks’ career total offense (8,392 yards) and touchdown responsibility (77) leader.
The first round of the NFL Draft was a virtual honor roll of SEC football stars. Eight of the top 21 picks and 10 of the first 26 selections in the draft were players from the SEC.
No other Razorbacks were expected to be selected on day one of the draft. The draft will continue on Sunday.
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