Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: OL Barrett Jones
Hometown: Germantown, TN
Missed due to lisfranc injury
News and Notes:
Missed NFL Combine due to foot injury, and his draft stock has been impacted. Won the Rimington Award last season as the nation’s top center. Played all over the offensive line at Alabama under Nick Saban. Won All-SEC Honors at right guard in 2010, and in 2011 moved to blind-side tackle position and was named the SEC’s top offensive lineman and was a consensus All-American.
First Crimson Tide member to win the William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation’s best “scholar-athlete.”
What they’re saying about him:
NFL.com: “Possesses NFL size for an interior player. Solid pass protector whether playing inside or outside, plays with a wide base, mirrors and anchors effectively by keeping his feet moving and extends his arms to stay engaged. Good hip extension in the run game. Very good football and general intelligence. Great awareness of late blitzers and twist stunts, and he gives excellent effort to reach free rushers so his quarterback stays upright.
“Tends to stop his feet and lunge at pass rushers on the edge. Top-heavy, upright runner on pulls without great foot speed. Gets to the second level well, but can struggle tracking and adjusting to moving targets. Has a lengthy injury history (but shows the toughness to play through them) and will need to check out medically.”
CBSSports.com: “Jones is typically characterized as a try-hard player who gets by with excellent fundamentals, and it is true that he uses his hands and feet very well to consistently defeat his opponent. Jones is smooth and efficient when easing back at the snap in pass protection or getting to the second level. He latches on and keeps his feet moving on contact, rarely allowing his opponent to make the play even if he’s relatively close to the ballcarrier. Doesn’t blow defenders off the ball with pure strength. Not a flashy athlete and may struggle to excel at the NFL level.”
(This will be evaluating Jones from his most recent position—center)
Good job getting the ball snapped and moving quickly to the outside to block for Lacy.
Excels at hitting his first assignment, struggles at getting to his second.
Gets upfield, which is remarkable for a center.
Holds his own in pass protection, doesn’t get beat but doesn’t smother defenders either
Good in run blocking, maintains his blocks just long enough
If the Packers draft him:
His most recent injury will scare off some people, but Jones would still be a nice selection for the Packers. His name was linked to the Packers in some early mock drafts in the first round, but Jones’ stock has taken a hit with this most recent injury.
If Green Bay can get Jones in the second or third round, it would be a smart pick. Although it’s possible he could start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and miss the first six games, the Packers could use another center to compete with Evan Dietrich-Smith. With Dietrich-Smith signing a low one-year tender, it very well could be open season for the starting center job.
Should Jones lose out on becoming the team’s starting center, he can fit elsewhere on the line thanks to his versatility in college. With Marshall Newhouse’s inconsistency, would Jones be an upgrade at the left tackle position? That’s the question Thompson may have to answer in deciding if he should draft him.
The biggest thing he would bring to the line would be some needed toughness. He’s played through pain before and he’s a high energy offensive lineman. With the Packers recently being criticized as being too “soft,” the addition of Jones would help the line become more smash mouth and less finesse.
Then there’s Jones’ injury history. He might not be worth that high of pick only to see himself land on the PUP list and the Packers have already been burned a bit by Derek Sherrod. Will (or maybe should) Thompson roll the dice on other offensive tackle in 2013?——————
Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke