Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations — Offense — James Jones
1) Introduction: Drafted in the third round of the 2007 draft, Packers receiver James Jones has battled through an up and down start to his NFL career. Jones started nine games in his rookie season and caught 47 passes for 676 yards, but he only managed 52 catches and 714 yards the next two seasons (2008-09). A lingering knee injury contributed to his lack of production in 2008 as he only saw the field in 10 games.
When healthy, however, Jones can be a difference maker in the passing game. He has a big frame (6’1″, 208 lbs), and underrated straight line speed that often sees him getting behind defenders. Jones might not have the ceiling of a No. 1 receiver, but he’s one of the best No. 3 receivers in the NFL today.
James Deandre Jones
Height: 6-1 Weight: 208 lbs.
3) Expectations coming into the season for that player: Mixed. His rookie season gave us a brief glimpse of what Jones could do over the course of a season, but injuries and a frustrating lack on consistency kept Jones from breaking out in the Packers offense.
In addition, both Greg Jennings and Donald Driver were coming off 1,000 yard seasons, and Jermichael Finley figured to become a bigger part of the offense. While having a bevy of weapons is surely a luxury, there are only so many footballs to go around and it was unsure how many Jones would see in 2010.
4) Player’s highlights/lowlights: To be honest, the entire 2010 season was a mix of highlights and lowlights for Jones. The Packers bi-polar receiver was either making you say “wow!” after a sure-handed reception or causing you to throw beverages at your television screen after the easiest of drops.
Jones started his highlights in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, as he made a nice adjustment on a back shoulder throw from Aaron Rodgers for a 30-yard touchdown. In Weeks 7 (vs. Minnesota), 8 (vs. Dallas) amd 10 (at Minnesota), Jones caught a combined 15 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns.
He also caught touchdowns in back-to-back weeks twice down the stretch—against New England and New York in the regular season, than against Philadelphia and Atlanta in the playoffs.
The lowlights begin and end with his inconsistency. Jones had six games where he caught two passes or less, and he had some huge drops throughout the season. Notable drops against Miami, Dallas, New York (Jets), Philadelphia and Pittsburgh all would have been touchdowns had he secured the catch.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Jones put together the finest season of his career statistically in 2010 by catching 50 passes for 679 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season. He played a factor in regular season games against Buffalo (32 yards, touchdown), Minnesota twice (158 yards, touchdown), Dallas (123 yards, touchdown) and New England (95 yards, touchdown).
Overall, the Packers were 5-3 when Jones had at least 50 yards receiving in the regular season and playoffs. Jones finished second on the team in both total touchdowns and receiving yards, but also led the team in drops and fumbles.
Yet while it may be surprising to some, Jones’ final totals for the 2010 season (61 catches, 823 yards, seven touchdowns) indicate he was an underrated cog in the Packers offense.
6) Player’s contributions during the six-win end-of-season run: Jones had a 3-yard touchdown catch against New York that gave the Packers a commanding 14-0 lead in the all-important Week 16 win over the Giants. After just one catch against Chicago and a maddening drop in Philadelphia, Jones broke out against Atlanta with 75 yards receiving and a nifty over the shoulder touchdown reception.
A week later, Chicago again held him to just one catch in the NFC Championship game. In the Super Bowl, Jones caught five passes for 50 yards but could have easily tallied over 100 had he caught a second quarter pass that would have been an easy run to the endzone.
Season Report Card:
(B) Level of expectations met during the season
(B) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B) Contributions to team’s success during the playoff run (last 6 games)
Overall Grade for the year: B
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2