It’s time to chat about LA Rams RB Xavier Jones

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams signed former SMU running back Xavier Jones after the 2020 NFL Draft had concluded. Jones had gotten used to being overlooked, after all, he was the scoring leader in NCAA football in 2019, and yet remained uninvited to the 2020 NBA Scouting Combine.

When he joined the LA Rams roster, he had quite an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster, but he did so. A Rams redshirted rookie, he appeared in 13 games as a special teamer, returning one kickoff for four yards, and showcasing his speed with three tackles on coverage units.

When 2021 rolled around, the early injury to featured rusher Cam Akers turned the focus to Jones, a logical player to step up into a significant role in the running back rotation. But just like Akers, Jones would suffer a season-ending Achilles Tendon injury that would sideline him all of last season.

So where has he been? How has he been?  Is he coming back?   Well, he says it all here:

So yes, Xavier Jones is still around. He’s still under the radar. And most of all, he’s still facing overwhelming odds. But there are still reasons to keep track of him.

III – Experienced
For starters, he is entering his third season with the LA Rams. Despite the lack of playing time, he certainly knows the offensive playbook by now. And by now, he should be ready to take advantage of any opportunity.

In the 2021 preseason games, Jones rushed 27 times for 94 yards, an average of just under 3.5 yards per rush. While that is not enough to sound the alarms, it was enough in a vanilla offensive playbook to view him as showing enough promise to earn snaps and carries in the regular season.

II – Potential
Without seeing much action from Xavier Jones in the LA Rams backfield, everything is speculative. His 2021 NFL preseason performance is simply a movie cinema sneak preview. He has all the stuff to run between the tackles, threaten the perimeter, find a crease and slash through quickly enough to find daylight on the other side.

He has superb instincts for getting to the endzone. While not the fastest or most powerful running back alive, he could be arguably one of the most determined from what his college footage shows.

I-RB Coach Ra’shaad Samples knows him well
Southern Methodist was in the history of both RB Xavier Jones and RB Coach Ra’shaad Samples. Now, both Jones and Coach Samples are with the LA Rams organization. I, for one, see this as more than just a coincidence.

Jones is one of the players who has incredible upside, but will now have a chance to put it into production. Just like wide receiver Tutu Atwell and tight end Jacob Harris, I believe that Xavier Jones has the opportunity to do more than cheer his teammates on from the bench this year.

If you are keeping score, I’ll admit that I’ve been touting Jones all along, and he really has failed to show up in the past two seasons. But let’s go with ‘Three time’s the charm,’ in this case. I still like him, and hopefully, he will prove why this year.

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