In the immediate wake of UFC 145 there is another huge event in the Jones family household. The first round of NFL Draft starts on Thursday. Around the time of the NFL combine the first day of the draft wasn't really a concern for Chandler. Before it he was given a 2nd-3rd round grade. I was hoping he would last til the Falcons got there(no first round pick), but after the combine he performed well and was upgraded to an early-mid 2nd round pick. In the time between the combine and now that has all changed in a big way
After the combine some teams took notice of his numbers and checked out his film from Syracuse. Scouts and teams seemed to be extremely impressed since he has been quite busy the last few weeks. He has visited the Bills, Browns, Bucs, Jets, Jaguars, Bears, and Dolphins. What really seemed to impress everyone was his performance after he returned from an injury. SB Nation New York describes how impressive his performance was:
The performance was basically flawless, as Jones was able to, by himself, shutdown a late-first half, Mountaineers drive by sacking Smith on consecutive plays -- the second being more impressive than the first. And then, in the second half, Jones used all of his body length and strength to sniff out a first-down, screen pass to WVU freshman running back Dustin Garrison, who could have ran 20-plus yards but, instead, was tackled after just four.
That seemed to be the spark that set his stock on fire. This combined with Quinton Coples, the #1 DE in the draft coming into the NFL Scouting Combine, not impressing on film in his final year. He is a better athlete than Chandler, but teams felt that he was half-assing it during the season and playing not to get injured. Mike Mayock, NFL Networks lead draft expert, even jumped him over Coples put him as high as his 9th rated overall prospect!!
So now instead of going to the early second round he is expected to not fall past the 22nd pick in the draft. I was watching 'Mike and Mike in the Morning' and Todd McShay even mentioned how he was surging up the draft boards. He said he could go as high as 12th, and may be the first defensive end taken in the draft. What is cool is that he also mentioned that, "his brother is MMA superstar Jon "Bones" Jones that won this weekend." If Jon Jones has played any part in his rise then there is no way he'll fall past the New York Jets. Rex Ryan is a HUGE MMA fan and I know he knows who Jon Jones is. So I wouldn't be surprised if he wants him on his team because he's Jon Jones' brother just like how I want him on the Falcons.
What a week this will be for this family! As a big sports fan something like this would be a dream to me. Just having one son being a professional athlete would be awesome. If you end up having three sons who are professional athletes then that's just amazing. I'm not a father, but I can imagine the pride that their father must have in his sons. The guy is going to go from watching his son defend his world title to watching his other son get drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft! It could also lead to some free advertising for the UFC. They'll probably mention Jon and 8-10 million people will be watching it so that could help him get more name recognition.