ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –Very soon former Rockford East football player Robert Jones will be putting on a Miami Dolphins uniform. He signed with the Dolphins Saturday evening as a free agent after he went undrafted.
Monday Jones was back at East High School visiting with former coaches and current players and checking out his old stomping grounds, so I asked him how disappointed he was about not being drafted.
“Everyone dreams to get drafted, but coming from where I come from I just want an opportunity. Yea I was a little disappointed, but I always had that chip on my shoulder ever since I started this game. There’s no reason for me to stop having it on my shoulder now.”
Jones was a standout guard and tackle at Middle Tennessee. This past fall he was named second team All-Conference USA by Phil Steele. Jones was also invited to the Senior Bowl. Despite that a strong showing at his Pro Day workout Jones still was not drafted.
Going undrafted doesn’t keep players out of the NFL. Just look at what another local guy James Robinson did last season in Jacksonville after he went undrafted. Jones is very aware of Robinson’s story.
“Yes sir. He put up crazy numbers.” “At the end of the day it’s all about getting in the league and now I’m in the league. It’s all about what I make of the opportunity I have now.”
Jones said he took a lot of phone calls during the final two rounds of the draft from NFL teams that were interested in signing him. He chose the Dolphins.
Jones is no stranger to Florida. He spent the past two months in Tampa training, and he visited Miami with his talent agency.
“When I went out there and visited Miami I knew that was a place where I wanted to go. Things worked out in my favor and I was able to choose where I wanted to go.”
“They went 10-6 last year. This a pretty good team you’re joining.”
“Oh yes sir. They’re an up-and-coming, young team.”
The Dolphins did draft two offensive linemen over the weekend Larnel Coleman and Liam Eichenberg. They’re both tackles. Jones is projected as more of a guard. Jones doesn’t care. He just wants to be somewhere on that line in front of Tua Tagovailoa.
“You know the best players are going to go out there and play. I know what I have. I’m going to go out there and play guard, center, tackle, whatever they need. I’m going to give it my all.”
Jones leaves for rookie camp next Wednesday.