The Cardinals selected Houston tackle Josh Jones in the third round of the draft. The following is the scouting report from NFL.com. Also, watch the accompanying video analysis on Jones from scout-in-residence Marc Lillibridge.
NFL Combine Performance Data
40-Yard Dash: 5.27 seconds
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 28.5
Broad Jump: 109.0
After four strong years at Houston, offensive tackle Josh Jones is taking his skills to the NFL level. Coming out of high school, 24/7 Sports had Jones as a three-star recruit, and the Texas native initially committed to Oklahoma State. However, a last-second change of heart brought him back to his home state for the entirety of his collegiate career.
Jones played 635 snaps during his final year at Houston, firmly establishing himself as one of the best tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft class. During his time on the field, Jones allowed just one sack, no quarterback hits, and three hurries. Pro Football Focus gave him a 93.2 grade for his phenomenal season, the highest grade ever given to a collegiate offensive tackle.
This was no one-year wonder for Jones. According to PFF, the Texas native allowed just 18 pressures over the past three years of his career. In 2018, Jones played 973 snaps while allowing just three sacks and seven hurries. One year earlier, Jones played 705 snaps and allowed just one sack, four hits, and nine hurries.
· Dominating force capable of demolishing opposing defenders in the run and pass game;
· Great athlete capable of making tough blocks and matching edge defender speed in space;
· Quick out of his stance and rarely beat by speed;
· Excels at eating up multiple blocks and getting into the second level;
· Ideal NFL build, should last at tackle at the next level;
· Has plenty of starting experience and improved every single year.
· Fundamentals need dramatic improvement;
· Doesn’t get low in the run game and can occasionally lose leverage;
· Inconsistent footwork can lead to him losing power in his blocks;
· NFL-caliber athleticism, but not an elite athlete;
· Can take suboptimal routes/blocks when on the move;
· Didn’t face the highest level of competition at Houston.
NFL Comparison: Laremy Tunsil
Bottom Line on Josh Jones
Jones is a high-ceiling, medium-floor prospect who has the chance to be an absolute force at the next level if everything breaks right. During his collegiate tenure, the left tackle demonstrated the ability to be an elite difference-maker in both the run and pass game. Thanks to his ideal size and strength, the Houston product routinely kept his quarterback upright, opened up running lanes in the trenches, and took on defenders in the second level.
Jones managed to be this successful despite having subpar fundamentals. As far as run blocking is concerned, Jones has a tendency to stay too high and sacrifice some of his leverage. His footwork in pass protection could use some improvement and he doesn’t have the best sets.
Jones is very much a raw prospect from a technique standpoint, but his sheer ability alone should make him a serviceable starter from Day 1. If a coaching staff can refine his technique and teach him the nuances of the position, then his ceiling is through the roof. Jones’ most likely outcome is being a solid starter for years to come, but he could be a perennial Pro Bowler if everything breaks right.