Jordan Jones didn’t have to look far for outside motivation when it came to showing out at the NFL Combine. He has seen him every day on campus for the past four years.
“Its not frustrating at all,” Jones said Saturday when asked about the draft-stock shadow cast by Allen, a potential top-three pick. “You compete against people who are ahead of you and in the long run it makes you better. You know what I mean?”
He added with a laugh:
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“He probably doesn’t even know I’m competing against him. … Josh is an amazing dude, I’m not taking nothing away from him. I’ve got a lot to work on.”
Both defensive stars benched well Saturday — Allen posted 28 reps of 225 pounds while Jones, three inches shorter (6-5 to 6-2) and 28 pounds lighter (262 to 234) than his counterpart — got up 23 reps. Jones’ (unofficial) 4.62-second run in the 40-yard dash Sunday was the 12th-fastest among interior defenders; Allen’s 4.63 was 13th.
Allen didn’t participate in the vertical jump. Jones’ 32.5-inch mark in that drill was among the lowest for linebackers but higher than those measured from former UK linebackers Danny Trevathan (31.5), Avery Williamson (30.5) and Josh Forrest (30.5), all of whom were drafted in later rounds (and, in the case of Trevathan and Williamson, still active in the league).
Jones’ broad jump (123 inches) was the third-best measured for a UK player, behind only defensive end Bud Dupree (138) and wide receiver Keenan Burton (125), and the seventh-best measure by an interior defender at this year’s combine. Allen’s 118 mark is top-10 among UK products.
Jones had more to gain than Allen by participating in Sunday’s drills, and he will likely take advantage of another opportunity to impress NFL scouts during UK’s pro day on March 22.
The man against whom he’s measured himself will be sending good vibes.
”I made a lot of connections here. I’ve met a lot of great people and made a lot of good friends, but with Jordan, he was my roommate in college at one point, y’know? Now we’re here together,” Allen said. “We worked hard for this. … I cheer him on through anything. I want him to be great, he wants me to be great, and we’re just here to support each other.”