- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2015

After trading down in the third round of the NFL draft, the Washington Redskins used the 95th overall pick Friday to select Matt Jones, a running back out of Florida.

Jones said he had visited Redskins Park in the weeks leading up to the draft, meeting with general manager Scot McCloughan, coach Jay Gruden and running backs coach Randy Jordan. He always felt it would be a great fit for him.

“It felt like home when I was there,” Jones said Friday night. “Everybody showed me love. It was just great, man. I just had a great feeling about the Washington Redskins for some reason.”

Jones is listed at 6 feet 2 and 226 pounds. He started 10 games for the Gators last season, leading the team with 817 rushing yards and running for six touchdowns.

“Matt’s a physical runner. He’s a downhill-type runner,” Gruden said Friday night. “We had him in for a visit a couple weeks ago and we liked his attitude. We liked what he knew about football and his passion for the game, and his running style. He’s a little bit different than what we’ve had around here. He’s a downhill, smashmouth-type runner and a physical kid.”

Jones had two surgeries on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus in a five-month span during his time with the Gators, with the first occurring in October 2013 and the second in February 2014. He said the knee is no longer an issue.


SEE ALSO: Iowa’s Brandon Scherff drafted by Redskins, will add toughness to offensive line


“I just couldn’t do anything as far as lay in my hospital bed and just think about how much I really love playing the game,” Jones said. “Then after I got up off that, I was a new man. I had a great season this season. I think I showed everybody what I can do.”

In a conference call with reporters Friday night, Jones said he believes he can be an every-down back in the NFL. He tries to model his game after Marshawn Lynch and Chris Ivory.

“I just feel like I’m a complete back all the way around,” he said.

The Redskins originally owned the 69th overall pick before completing a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, McCloughan’s former employer. Washington swapped third-round picks with the Seahawks and added one pick in each of the following three rounds, including the 112th, 167th and 181 overall picks.

Jones becomes the third member of Washington’s 2015 NFL draft class, joining Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff and Mississippi State outside linebacker Preston Smith in the first two rounds. The Redskins picked Scherff fifth overall and used the 38th pick to grab Smith.

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