East Carolina Pirates: Zay Jones goes No. 37 to Buffalo

The East Carolina Pirates saw their first player go off the board early in the second round of the NFL Draft.

The East Carolina Pirates produced the best receptions artist in NCAA history for the second time when Zay Jones broke his former teammate Justin Hardy’s marks. Now Jones will join Hardy at the next level. Jones was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the twenty-seventh pick in the NFL Draft.

The Bills had to trade into that pick, but it is clear that they needed more weapons on a team that lives in the same division as perennial contender New England Patriots. The Bills brought back Tyrod Taylor, still have LeSean McCoy, but this move was all about Sammy Watkins.

The Clemson star has been great for the Bills, but only when he has been on the field. Jones gives the Bills insurance against Watkins getting hurt because he has the flexibility and the size to play in multiple places on the wide receiver front.

If Watkins is hurt, Jones can be the sideline guy. If Watkins is healthy, Jones can flop over to the other wide receiver spot or even move down into the slot. Like a tight end, Jones can offer an often open security blanket that a veteran like Taylor will certainly appreciate. So too will the next Buffalo starter since the Bills do not seem committed to Taylor beyond this season.

One thing that Jones will have to get used to is the better quality of defensive backs in the NFL. The Patriots in particular seem to find good corners. The AFC East is not all about the Patriots, and there are some question marks. The Jets have been rebuilding their secondary in the current draft, so there could be a chance for Jones to exploit them.

The East Carolina Pirates will also struggle to replace Jones next year, but Coach Scottie Montgomery will certainly try his best. He will probably have some help from Thomas Sirk to do it.