Alabama WR Julio Jones had an impressive workout at the Combine, probably the best of any receiver there. He ran a 4.39 forty-yard dash, and compared himself to, of all players, Ray Lewis (or the record, Larry Fitzgerald was the most popular self-named comparison by receivers) because of inclination to hit like a defensive player. As if that didn't shed enough light on just how tough the kid was, it turns out Jones worked out with a fractured foot.
A.Mazing. There's not another way to describe it. He may not have the natural route running and hands of A.J. Green, but there's no doubt Jones is a certified stud. Talk about four pillars.
But there's a catch. Jones will have surgery on his foot. That move will leave him out of action for 8 weeks, but he should be ready to go in time for the start of training camp. The question now is this changes, if it changes, his draft stock.
Since we're talking comparisons, how about this one: Michael Crabtree. Predicted to be a top five pick in 2009, it was revealed prior to the Combine that he had a foot fracture which required surgery and a screw to be placed in his foot. He was drafted by the 49ers with the 10th pick. Then, a contract fight - he wanted to be paid like a top pick - led to him holding out until October.
Will the foot surgery hurt his draft stock? Maybe. Though I have my doubts. There's much more certainty around these kinds of injuries now. Still, further medical tests and updates on his rehab process will have much more impact on his draft stock than his Combine workout...or Ray Lewis comparison. Depending on when he has the surgery, the draft is still just over 8 weeks away, the same as his projected recovery time. That might just be enough to keep him as a high first round pick. Or it might not.
(Hat tip to PFT's Evan Silva, who also hit me with the news - while I was driving my two-year-old son by the hospital b/c he wanted see where the ambulance goes...already an ambulance chaser!)