Since the beginning of the year, Christian Jones has lived a roller coaster life. He and his Florida State teammates win the BCS National Championship title. He then subjected himself to the cattle call that is the NFL Combine. Then he was told he would be a second or third round pick in the draft. The draft came and went, but Jones was passed over by every team.
After the draft, however, Jones was quickly picked up by the Bears, and he was excited about having an opportunity to fulfill his dream of playing in the NFL.
Jones will not forget the feeling of disappointment he felt after 256 names were called and his was not among them.
Speaking to the media after his first weekend with the Bears during their rookie camp, Jones talked about the motivation he now feels. “It’s a lot of motivation. It’s the competitive side. You see guys getting drafted above you … everybody thinks they’re better than somebody. But that’s how it is. It’s going to help fuel me, but I believe that things happen for a reason. I really feel like I belong here and I’m just making the best out of this opportunity.”
Just before the draft, it was reported that Jones was among the more than 10 prospects who tested positive for drugs. His result came back as diluted, which the NFL still considers as a positive result. That diluted drug test result could be the reason why his stock plummeted.
“It probably had something to do with it,” he said. “This is a business. They invest a lot of money in players. I’m not going to sit here and mope about it. Like I said, things happen. I’m fortunate enough and blessed to still be able to get on a team and I’m just going to make the best of it.”
The 6’3″, 240 pound Jones was a productive player for Florida State. He contributed all four years, starting every game his last three years. He played multiple positions (which made him attractive to GM Phil Emery), playing every linebacker position and even played some defensive end.
“I feel like I’ve got a lot of versatility and I feel like I can fit in a lot of different systems,” Jones said. “I feel like I just need to focus on one spot. I’ve been moved around my whole career and I feel like people didn’t really see what all I could do. They just saw a little glimpse of it. I think it’s going to be a good opportunity to see me at one spot and see what I do.”
During rookie camp, Jones played at strongside linebacker, and that is the position he played the most in college.
Christian Jones’ misfortune could be the Chicago Bears’ luck. They pick up a linebacker who could be a significant contributor to the team for a long time. It seems things are falling right for Emery this offseason.