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NFL Draft 2017: Can NC State safety Josh Jones sneak into the first round?

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Jones will be a wealthy man soon, whether or not he’s a first rounder.

Miami v North Carolina State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Josh Jones is coming off a career season at NC State and he also had an excellent showing at the NFL Combine, which seems to have solidified his status as a second- or third-round pick at worst. Since the Combine ended, Jones has met with multiple teams, including the Jets, Dolphins, and Texans.

The draft guru-ish wonkniks, otherwise known as the Mel Kiper, Junior Juniors, generally have Jones going in the middle of the second round. WalterFootball.com has Jones going 50th overall to Tampa Bay; ESPN’s Todd McShay has him at No. 57 to the Texans; and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has him landing with Cleveland at No. 52 overall. CBS Sports rates him the 63rd-best prospect in the draft and projects him to go in the second round.

One brave and perhaps prescient soul over at NFL.com actually puts Jones in the first round at No. 25 to Houston.

It’ll be difficult for Jones to break into the first round since there are several safeties in this class clearly a tier above him on NFL teams’ draft boards, but it also seems plausible that several teams have him in their top five at that position. If one of those teams happens to be near the end of the first round, hey, who knows.