Will Position Change Help Or Hurt Taiwan Jones?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

For some time now there have been rumblings of Taiwan Jones making the switch from offense to defense. Now it seems as if that move is pretty much inevitable as Reggie McKenzie has officially expressed his desire to see Jones become a cornerback in 2013.

In fact McKenzie saw Jones as a better cornerback prospect than an NFL running back when the current Raiders general manager was evaluating talent for the Green Bay Packers. Now the big boss man is pushing for Jones to make a move that could help his career to either sink or swim.

“I’m pushing for cornerback. I think it fits his skill set. I think we’re going to see how he does there.”

In his first two years in the NFL Jones has been largely invisible. Despite the injury issues of Darren McFadden and even when the Raiders were down both Run DMC and Mike Goodson this past season, Jones simply didn’t see the field.

Thus far the only real glimpse of what Taiwan can do was offered in an impressive preseason performance his rookie year. Since then injuries and shaky play have plagued him. A fumble on a reverse during Oakland’s season opener in 2012 all but ended his season. When Marcel Reece was asked to become Oakland’s feature back Jones was passed over as his backup when the team elevated Jeremy Stewart from the practice squad ahead of him.

The reality is this is pretty much it for Jones. He’s already stated his comfort with making the switch as he was originally recruited as a cornerback at Eastern Washington before becoming a play maker at running back. That would indicate even he knows the end is near if he can’t stick as a defender.

While Jones may have the physical ability and a certain comfort level playing the position it doesn’t mean the move will be easy. Learning a new position at the NFL level is not an easy task. Learning to play corner at the NFL level is damn near impossible.

Make no mistake. This is a move of desperation and the end result could be the end of Jones’ pro career. Or it could be the beginning of it. Only time will tell.

Topics: Oakland Raiders, Taiwan Jones

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