"I'm pushing for cornerback," Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie said Friday from the NFL combine. "I think it fits his skill set. I think we're going to see how he does there."
This confirms what I originally reported when Taiwan Jones said late last season he would welcome a shot at playing corner. In fact, it was once where he saw himself playing in the NFL.
"That's what I got my scholarship for in college was to play corner," said Taiwan Jones. "I played my first year at corner and I didn't switch until we had four senior running backs graduating, that's when they asked me change over. Coming into the combine, I actually thought I was gonna get looked at more at corner than running back but the majority liked what I can do at running back."
Jones had issues with holding onto the ball and the coaches didn't trust him not to fumble. The result was he didn't hardly see the field as a running back last season despite the midseason injury to Darren McFadden. The team used him primarily on special teams coverage where his speed came in handy to track down returners.
He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of Eastern Washington to play running back. But with the new regime, he saw his chances diminish. The team traded for Mike Goodson then signed undrafted rookie Jeremy Stewart, both of whom got carries while Jones was designated for special teams only.
Jones just wants to keep his NFL dream alive and is willing to play wherever the team thinks he is of most value.
"I just love playing football," said Jones. "If they need me to play defense, I think I'd be pretty happy with that."
Now, on a team starved for good cornerback play, it looks like he will get his shot.