Argos GM feels draftee Brian Jones will give CFL club vastly different look | iNFOnews

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Argos GM feels draftee Brian Jones will give CFL club vastly different look

Toronto Argonauts new general manager and former head coach Jim Barker attends a press conference to announce Scott Milanovich's appointment as head coach , in Toronto on Thursday December 1, 2011. Barker is expecting an immediate return from first-round pick Brian Jones. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Chris Young
May 11, 2016 - 1:24 PM

TORONTO - Jim Barker is expecting an immediate return from first-round pick Brian Jones.

The Toronto Argonauts selected the Acadia receiver fourth overall in the CFL draft Tuesday night. Barker took Jones knowing he's recovering from a broken bone in his wrist but added club doctors figure Jones should be ready for the start of rookie camp later this month.

"Our doctors saw the X-ray and their evaluation is it would be a two-week thing, which is when we start training camp so we're not expecting it to be an issue," Barker said during a conference call Wednesday. "We're not going to put the guy's career in jeopardy or anything like that.

"We'll wait and make sure it's good. We're in the process of doing more tests on it. It's not something that affected his standing."

The six-foot-four, 233-pound Jones, a native Nova Scotian, had 45 catches for 630 yards and four TDs last season. Barker said while Jones will be given time to learn the pro game, he'll be counted upon to contribute immediately on special teams.

Argos special-teams co-ordinator Kelly Jeffrey is very familiar with Jones after coaching at Mount Allison University (2008-15) before coming to Toronto.

"We felt like (Jones) was the type of guy in addition to learning how to play receiver early in his career could be a four-team guy," Barker said. "It's hard to find a receiver who can do that."

But Toronto has much bigger plans for Jones than just special-teams duty.

"He gives us a different look when he plays that inside slot," Barker said. "He's the closest thing I've seen come out to what (former all-star slotback Jason Clermont) did in terms of his physicality and the way he attacks the game.

"Eventually, he could even branch out and be a Y receiver, which is one of our wider slots. He's just a very versatile guy. He's fast, big and physical and catches the ball the way it's supposed to be caught. He's not a body catcher. We feel like he's the kind of guy he's from back East, you're not going to lose him in a couple of years. You've got a good chance to keep a guy like that for a long time."

Jones' pro stock rose throughout the year as he went from No. 18 on the CFL scouting bureau's top-20 prospects list to No. 10. He also helped himself at the league's national combine in March, posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.69 seconds before performing well in the one-on-one drills.

Jones was the first of Toronto's nine draft selections.

The Argos took U of T offensive lineman DJ Sackey in the second round before selecting York offensive lineman Jamal Campbell in the third. Toronto used its two fourth-round picks on McMaster running back Declan Cross and junior receiver Llevi Noel.

The other selections were Guelph linebacker Curtis Newton (fifth round), York offensive lineman Chris Kolankowski (sixth), McMaster defensive back Johnathan Ngeleka Muamba (seventh) and Guelph receiver Ryan Nieuwesteeg (eighth).

Barker feels the six-foot-seven, 295-pound Campbell, a converted defensive lineman, is an intriguing selection.

"He's got long arms and looks the way you need to look," Barker said. "He's intriguing because he could become the best player taken in this draft or he could become a bust.

"It's going to be up to him . . . I think he'll be an interesting guy to watch (develop)."

Sackey is another converted defensive lineman who Barker is high on.

"He's athletic enough to play tackle but we're going to play him at guard where he's comfortable," Barker said. "He has a chance to be very special.

"We're not going rush him. We don't need him to play right away, we need him to grow and learn how to be a pro."

Barker said Calgary centre Sean McEwen, last year's first-round pick, is close to signing with Toronto after opting to return to school in 2015.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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