Derrick Jones, who started several games at cornerback for the Ole Miss Rebels this past season, worked out with the wide receivers in yesterday's football practice.
Sophomore Derrick Jones worked with the wide receivers today. Was exclusively a cornerback all last season.— Ben Garrett (@SpiritBen) September 2, 2014
This is pretty surprising, given that Jones was the shoe-in favorite for a starting job after spring drills ended, even though he just sorta disappeared from the defensive depth chart after fall camp. He didn't notch any defensive statistics for Ole Miss against Boise State, and I personally can't remember seeing him on the field. So, it seems, if his athleticism can't contribute on defense, the coaches want to give him a shot on offense.
This isn't too novel a move, given that Jones was recruited as a wide receiver out of high school, but his departure from the defense does not give Ole Miss a starting cornerback over 5'10". Jones is listed as being four inches taller than that, and showed himself to be an adept defensive asset in covering tall, rangy receivers last season.
Perhaps this is a move to get him some reps situationally on both sides of the ball. Maybe Jones' physicality on the edge is something that a guy like Vince Sanders can't match. Maybe Jones will be called in to cover guys more suited to his defensive skillset, such as Alabama's Amari Cooper. Or maybe he just hasn't performed as well in camp relative to others, and is simply trying to find his spot in the depth chart.