Should Baltimore Ravens draft Purdue WR Charlie Jones
The Baltimore Ravens are likely to draft a wide receiver in the 2023 NFL draft. Charlie Jones is an interesting name that they may have their eyes on.
Baltimore Ravens Draft Profile: Charlie Jones
Charlie Jones excelled as a freshman at Buffalo. He did so well that he caught the eyes of Iowa and transferred. He sat out 2019, and then because of COVID lost 2020. He rebounded in 2021, with 21 catches for 323 yards.
This caught the attention of Purdue, who offered a more pass-happy offense. Charlie Jones took that and exploded. He put up 1,361 yards and 12 touchdowns with his first real chance to shine.
That momentum earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He also was invited to the NFL combine. Below you can see how he performed.
Charlie Jones is definitely a bit on the smaller side, but the biggest concern is probably his hand size. What does he bring to the table on the field?
Charlie Jones NFL Draft Strengths and Weaknesses
Charlie Jones has the size of your typical slot wideout, but he spent most of his career out wide. Per PFF, Jones was on the outside 74% of the time. At his size, he has to win with sharp timing and route running, and he did just that.
Jones is strong with timing routes and can get down the back shoulder with his quarterback in one season. He is also aware of where to go and how to be a target for his quarterback in the scramble drill. Charlie Jones took on guys like Devon Witherspoon, Joey Porter, Garrett Williams, Deonte Banks, and D.J. Turner, and found success against most of them.
A lot of the questions come with how someone who is short, thin, and has short arms and small hands can translate to the NFL. When he won off of the ball with quickness, or he had a lane, he was able to win easily, but defenders were able to get their hands on him and redirect him. It has to be noted that Jones will be a 24-year-old rookie, although the transfer from Buffalo, and sitting out COVID can explain some of why it took him being older than his opponents to produce.
Charlie Jones has solid speed, but will not be a deep threat who can consistently win down the field. He is more of a short to intermediate threat, although he has fine ball tracking skills.
One last note is that he could be a return game option, both in the punt return and kick return game.
NFL Comparison for Charlie Jones
The best NFL comparison for Charlie Jones is Kevin Curtis. If you do not remember, Curtis was a third-round pick in 2003. He played with the Greatest Show on Turf and posted a 1,000-yard season with Donovan McNabb and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Below, you can see how Charlie Jones compares to Kevin Curtis.
The key commonality they have is the slot body type, but Curtis spent his career on the outside. He struggled at times being that size but ended up having an eight-year NFL career as a complementary wideout who had a season or two where he really shined.
That is fair to expect from Charlie Jones. He is athletic, but relies heavily on his precision and understanding to get open. At the NFL, when it turns into the biggest, strongest, and fastest, he can win at times, but he cannot be trusted as a number one threat like he was at Purdue.
Should Baltimore Ravens draft Charlie Jones?
Charlie Jones brings some of the best of Devin Duvernay and James Proche together. He is a route runner and precision player in the middle of the field like Proche. Still, he can work with the ball in his hands, and in the return game like Duvernay. It would be nice to have a blend of the best of them on the roster.
The question would be draft cost. Kevin Curtis went in the third round, but was not the one-year wonder and tested better athletically. Charlie Jones is probably a fourth or fifth-round pick. In that range, similar to Proche, he should be on the Baltimore Ravens, and would easily make James Proche expendable.