|No. 7 – Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Born:||March 30, 1995|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school:||Stephen F. Austin|
|College:||East Carolina (2013–2016)|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 2 / Pick: 37|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2022|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
Isaiah Avery "Zay" Jones (born March 30, 1995) is an American football wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at East Carolina. Jones is the all-time NCAA Division I career receptions leader with 399 as well as the all-time NCAA Division I single-season receptions leader with 158.
Jones was born on March 30, 1995 in Dallas, Texas, the son of Robert Jones, a former football player who spent ten years in the NFL, and Maneesha Jones. He has two brothers, Cayleb and Levi and his uncle is Jeff Blake. Jones attended Stephen F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas. He committed to East Carolina University to play college football.
Jones played in 13 games and made eight starts as a true freshman at East Carolina in 2013. He finished second on the team with 62 receptions for 604 yards and five touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 81 receptions for 830 yards and five touchdowns. As a junior, he recorded 98 receptions for 1,099 yards and five touchdowns. During his senior season in 2016, he set a school record for receptions in a game with 22, breaking the previous record of 17 held by Justin Hardy and then went on to break the school record for receptions in a season, also held by Hardy, nine games into the season. Subsequently, Jones became the NCAA Division I football all-time single season leader in receptions with 158 for the 2016 season, breaking the previous record of 155 set by wide receiver Freddie Barnes of Bowling Green in 2009. Additionally, Jones became the NCAA Division I football career leader in receptions with 399, breaking the all-time NCAA record of 387 held by his former ECU Pirate teammate and future NFL receiver Justin Hardy. Jones was also named as one of three finalists for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to the nation's best receiver in college football.
Jones received an invitation to the Senior Bowl and had practiced well during the week leading up to the game. He led both teams and greatly improved his draft stock after making six receptions for 68 receiving yards and a touchdown for the North, who lost 16–15 to the South. He also attended the NFL Combine and completed all the combine and positional drills. Jones also participated at East Carolina's Pro Day, but opted to only run positional drills for team representatives and scouts. The majority of NFL draft experts and analysts projected Jones to be selected in the second round. He was ranked the fourth best wide receiver in the draft by NFL media analyst Mike Mayock, the fifth best wide receiver by ESPN, and was ranked the sixth best wide receiver by Sports Illustrated and NFLDraftScout.com.
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand span||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 2+1⁄8 in
|4.45 s||1.55 s||2.61 s||4.01 s||6.79 s||36.5 in
|11 ft 1 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
The Buffalo Bills selected Jones in the second round with the 37th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. On May 18, the Bills signed Jones to a four-year, $6.77 million contract with $3.84 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $3.07 million.
On September 10, 2017, Jones made his NFL debut. He had one reception for 21 yards in the 21–12 victory over the New York Jets. On September 17, 2017, in Week 2, he barely missed on a potential game-winning pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor on fourth down late in the game of a 9–3 loss to the Carolina Panthers. In Week 9, against the New York Jets, he recorded six receptions for 53 yards and his first career receiving touchdown. In 15 games (10 starts) of his rookie year in 2017, Jones finished with 316 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Following his rookie season, Jones revealed he had played much of the year with a torn labrum in the shoulder, which required offseason surgery. Jones missed much of OTA's during the 2018 offseason due to another injury stemming from an offseason incident and started training camp on the non-football injury list.
Jones showed improvement early in the season as his catch percentage rose significantly from his rookie season despite a low-volume passing offense. He caught a 57-yard pass from rookie quarterback Josh Allen in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers that was his new personal record for his longest reception. The pass traveled 63.8 yards in the air, which was also the second longest air distance for a completed pass ever recorded by NFL NextGen Stats since its inception. Jones recorded his first touchdown of the season against the Houston Texans, a 16-yard pass from Nathan Peterman (who entered the game after Allen was injured), that briefly gave the Bills the lead.
Against the New York Jets in Week 10, Jones caught another touchdown to go with 93 receiving yards, a new career high. He recorded his first game with multiple receiving touchdowns two games later, catching two scores in a 21–17 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 13.
Jones finished the 2018 season as Buffalo's leading receiver after the team released Kelvin Benjamin. He caught 56 receptions for 652 yards and seven touchdowns.
On October 7, 2019, Jones was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a 2021 fifth-round pick.
During the Raiders' first home game in Allegiant Stadium upon relocating to Las Vegas, Jones caught his first touchdown since 2018 in a 34–24 Raiders win over the New Orleans Saints. Jones was fined US$15,000 by the NFL on October 5, 2020, for attending a maskless charity event hosted by teammate Darren Waller during the COVID-19 pandemic in violation of the NFL's COVID-19 protocols for the 2020 season.
On March 19, 2021, Jones re-signed with the Raiders on a one-year contract. During Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, Jones recorded two receptions for 46 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown to end the game as the Raiders won 33–27 in overtime.
On March 16, 2022, Jones signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
On March 21, 2018, Jones was arrested in Los Angeles for suspicion of felony vandalism. Jones was involved in an altercation with his older brother, NFL player Cayleb Jones, on the 30th floor of an apartment building. Zay Jones allegedly smashed a window, resulting in cuts on his foot and blood all along the walls, and tried to jump out the 30th floor window, but Cayleb and police prevented it.