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LAS VEGAS – The 2022 NFL Draft will have some head coaches going through the process for the first time as leaders of their teams instead of in an assistant role.
June Jones went through the draft process as a head coach for the Atlanta Falcons from 1994 to 1996 and before that as an assistant coach. In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Jones had some advice for those coaches who are going to have a say in picking players.
Quarterback Ryan Leaf of the Chargers talks to head coach June Jones during a game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Todd Warshaw /Allsport)
“I would say draft to needs as best you can,” Jones said. “I had a philosophy and I still do believe this, that the only positions you draft (are) your quarterbacks, offensive linemen, pass rushers and corners. And I think you get all the rest down in the draft. Even though there’s some premier receivers this year, those top 15 picks, I think you can get equally really good receivers third, fourth, fifth, sixth round.
“I would draft by positions high – corners and quarterbacks. I wouldn’t draft a running back, I wouldn’t draft receivers ‘til late. And if a defensive end is a linebacker that rushes the passer, I would put him in that category. I think the rest of the positions you can find and you can draft to those four or five spots.”
Elijah Mitchell of the San Francisco 49ers runs after making a catch against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Jan. 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jones said he didn’t think running backs should be taken too high because of the number of players who come into the draft listed at the position. San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell and New York Jets running back Michel Carter were among the top rushers among rookies last season and both were selected in the fourth round or later.
“You better get O-line, you better get D-line, you better get corners and you better have a quarterback,” Jones said.
Jones hasn’t coached in the NFL since the 1998 season with the Chargers. He had successful runs in college with Hawaii and SMU and recently was the head coach of the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL in 2020 before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel speaks at an introductory press conference on Feb. 10, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
He told Fox News Digital he’s found success with CoachTube, a platform that provides online sports coaching and training from former college and professional coaches and players.
Jones said the feedback has been “pretty unbelievable” and he’s gotten calls about his courses from coaches at all levels.