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12 Feet: A Soaring New Broad Jump Record Is Set At NFL Combine

If you're ever standing near Byron Jones when he jumps, you might want to stand well back. At Monday's NFL scouting combine, the cornerback from the University of Connecticut nearly flew off the grid that measures the standing broad jump. He landed more than 12 feet away.

Jones recorded 12 feet 3 inches in the broad jump, a discipline that was once in the Olympics. No other player came close to Jones' mark at the combine, the scouting event for players who want to be considered in pro football's draft.

The NFL says Jones set a broad jump record. Jones nearly set another NFL mark with his vertical leap, measured at 44.5 inches.

Those feats are putting a spotlight on Jones, who hopes to play in the NFL after a shoulder injury shortened his final season at UConn.

You might recall that last year, Jamie Collins also tested the limits of the NFL's broad jump markings, posting an 11-foot-7-inch jump — which many were particularly impressed by, because as a linebacker, Collins is heavier than Jones. He was later drafted by the New England Patriots.

According to The UConnBlog, Jones played wide receiver in high school, then moved to safety and cornerback in college.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.