1. He's a record setter. Jones had 399 catches in his career and 158 in 2016 alone for the East Carolina Pirates, setting Football Bowl Subdivision records in both categories. He played in 50 games with 41 starts, and in 2016 was a Fred Biletnikoff Award, William V. Campbell Trophy and Senior CLASS Award finalist.
2. He believes in himself. "I have the best hands in this draft class," Jones said on a conference call with the Western New York media shortly after being selected. "I can get open and create separation." If that comes across as arrogance, it's not meant to. "I'm very confident. I don't shy away from that," he said.
How good are his hands? The analytics website Pro Football Focus charged Jones with just six drops on 164 catchable passes last year.
3. It runs in the family. Jones' father, Robert, played linebacker from 1992 to 2001 with the Dallas Cowboys, winning three Super Bowls during that stretch.
"I used to think that every kid's dad played in the NFL , too," Jones said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "So I would be like, 'who does your dad play for?' Because that’s what was common to us just growing up in a household with him. Eat, sleep, drink football. It’s just what I want to do right now. I’m fortunate enough to do it, healthy enough to do it.”
Not only did Jones' dad play in the NFL, his uncle is Jeff Blake. He had a 14-year NFL career. Jones' older brother, Cayleb, played in college for both Texas and Arizona, and spent the 2016 preseason with the Eagles.
4. There is a good connection to the Bills. Jones' college wide receivers coach, Phil McGeoghan, holds the same position with the Bills. "If having his ex-coach in the building didn't help, I'd be lying to you, so we feel good about being thorough with our research, and with coach MeGeoghan in the building, it certainly helped," McDermott said.
Jones explained that the Bills did not have a lot of pre-draft contact with the Bills, but clearly the scouting report they got from McGeoghan was enough to go on.
5. At the combine, Jones explained how it came to be that he goes by "Zay." His given first name is Isaiah.
"I always have gone by Zay," he said. "Officially, I guess it got changed and I didn’t really know it did. I asked our marketing personnel. I said, 'hey, what if I went by Zay as an announcement for football? And then as soon as I knew it, they changed it in the program, on the website and things like that.'
"I said, that’s not what I meant. But they did it. My mom called me Zay Zay ever since I was born, so that’s always been kind of my nickname, but I still love Isaiah. Isaiah is who I am. Zay is also who I am.”