OWINGS MILLS — For a virtually unknown NFL draft prospect just a few months ago, Jacoby Jones is rapidly losing his obscurity.
The Division II star wide receiver and return specialist from Lane College (Tenn.) has parlayed intriguing size, athleticism and a strong East-West Shrine game into major attention from around the league as the draft approaches.
That interest includes the Baltimore Ravens.
Baltimore receivers coach Mike Johnson attended Jonesâ€™ Pro Day workout along with Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow and Detroit Lions receivers coach Kippy Brown.
â€œI donâ€™t think Jacoby is a sleeper anymore,â€ said Jonesâ€™ agent, Harold Lewis. â€œHis best football is ahead of him.â€
The New Orleans native is slated for nine visits in 14 days, including trips to the Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans. The New England Patriots have scheduled Jones for a private workout, too.
Lewis said seven other teams requested visits from Jones, but he couldnâ€™t fit them in because April 20 is the last day that NFL clubs can schedule incoming rookie visits.
â€œItâ€™s been nonstop interest,â€ Lewis said. â€œBaltimore would be a great team for Jacoby to play for. He absolutely loved Mike Johnson. He would learn so much and he can do so much for them.â€
At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Jones flashed 4.53 speed in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine and recorded a 10-foot-9 broad jump. He gained four pounds by his campus workout and ran a 4.50 on natural grass.
He caught four passes for 57 yards at the East-West game, the same venue where New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston gained prominence a year ago prior to becoming a seventh-round steal.
Jones initially signed a track scholarship with Southeastern Louisiana before transferring to Lane in 2003.
He caught 200 career passes for 2,750 yards and 21 touchdowns. As a senior, he registered 68 receptions for 822 yards and six touchdowns, running back three kicks for touchdowns.
â€œHeâ€™s a great kid,â€ Lewis said. â€œHeâ€™s a refreshing Terrell Owens because he’s big and fast without the attitude problems.â€
NOTES: The Ravens retained exclusive-rights free agent defensive backs Evan Oglesby and Jamaine Winborne. â€¦ The entire NFL regular-season schedule is set to be released today at 1 p.m.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.