Tyler Jones: 2022 Pro Prospect Interview
Name: Tyler Jones
School: Virginia Union University
What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?
For this I set goals to be as versatile as possible and make All-Conference. Although, I fell short as far as accolades I still was very versatile. Playing free safety, strong safety, and dime linebacker in our 3rd down personnel package.
Q: How do you think you took advantage of the extra year of eligibility to increase your chances of going pro?
I took advantage by gaining experience playing linebacker and rushing the passer from that spot which is something I’ve never did before on the NCAA level. In addition, I refined the way I break down film as far as looking for tendencies and understanding more so what the offense is trying to do.
Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?
They would say I’m aggressive and certainly not afraid of contact. And I’m very detail-oriented as far as film study, being technical in my footwork, and definitely a hard-worker especially when it comes to putting extra work in. I also won’t back down from anyone and I play with an edge and an extreme sense of urgency to get to the ball.
Q: When you are studying film, what are the things you focus on to improve your game?
If I’m watching myself I’ll check for my eye discipline by making sure I’m reading my keys from the guards and tackles such as high-hat or low-hat, that I have the proper footwork for the coverage I’m playing, and that I have good body language to eliminate any signs of fatigue. Now if I’m watching the opposing teams I’ll start first with the quarterback and try to dissect what receivers are his main targets and if he prefers to throw short, intermediate, or deep routes, if he’s mobile and how often he likes to run. After the quarterback, I’ll scan the OL and see who’s the toughest and weakest link, whether they play on their heels or not. Next, I’ll analyze the receivers and see who’s more of a possession receiver and who’s a deep threat and what routes they run well and run bad.
Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?
What separates me is my versatility. I can flow sideline to sideline from the weak-side linebacker position. I’m rangy enough to make plays on underneath routes from a deep-half safety as well as play over top. I can put pressure on the quarterback from blitzing off the edge. I would also say my aggressiveness in run support and key diagnosis/play recognition really standout as well.
Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?
I plan to prepare for my pro day by training with Myron Flowers and his team at 360Fit. We have an intense regime that consist of speed & agility, technical on-field position training, film study, taking supplements and vitamins along with a strict diet, and lastly with solid recovery methods such as massages and proper stretching.
Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?
On field, I would say my tackling stands out not only can I hit with power but I also use my arms along with my feet to be a consistent and sure tackler. As previously stated, my versatility stands out a lot because there’s plays where I’ve lined up at deep middle or deep half safety, over the slot, blitzed off the edge from linebacker, etc. And my confidence is high and I’ll go toe to toe with anyone no matter who they are. I feel like that trait alone is a necessity to be successful. Off the field, I would say I’m very personable and able to work with or relate to just about anyone. I’m also very low key and discrete so I manage to stay out of trouble.
Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL and any other pro leagues?
I have all the physical traits you’re looking for. I’ve played in two bowl games (FCS Bowl and Tropical Bowl) and showcased that I can play with higher levels of competition. I’m versatile and will play multiple positions in your scheme. I have experience on every special teams so I can help out right away even if it’s not on defense immediately. I’m confident and I know for a fact I can add value to your organization while being a role model for the fan base and community as a whole.