One of the most interesting players on the New York Giants' 90-man roster is former Canadian Football League offensive lineman Brett Jones. Let's look a little closer at Jones' transition to the NFL as we continue our series of player-by-player profiles leading up to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Jones was named the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2014 while playing center for the Calgary Stampeders. He had been the league's Most Outstanding Rookie in 2013.
2015 Season Outlook
Jones signed what amounted to the standard three-year undrafted free agent contract with the Giants, although he is hardly your standard UDFA. Can the talent Jones displayed in Canada transition to the NFL, where the defensive linemen are bigger and the rules don't prohibit them from getting right on top of the center?
Jones had admitted during rookie minicamp that he had an adjustment to make.
"The one yard is definitely a big difference, and the under center snaps. Those are the two key things that the CFL just doesn't do," Jones said. "I've got a lot to work on, definitely."
So, how is that going? Throughout OTAs and mandatory minicamp Jones took reps as the third-team center behind Weston Richburg and Dallas Reynolds. He also mixed in with some reps at right guard, also usually with the third group.
"Definitely things make a lot more sense. I'm definitely ore used to the under center snap, the mechanics, just the speed of the game. I'm starting to get more accustomed it it. Now it's just all about working on the technique," Jones said during minicamp. "I learn something new every day, but I feel more comfortable each and every practice and after each and every rep.
"I'm just taking advantage of every rep I get and just trying to make it like everybody else."
Jones would seem to have an inside track on making the roster as a reserve offensive lineman. Can the 6-foot-2, 318-pound 23-year-old be a contributor to the team this season? At the conclusion of minicamp Jones did not seem to be in the mix for a starting spot. If the Giants break up the Ereck Flowers-Justin-Pugh-Weston Richburg-Geoff Schwartz-Marshall Newhouse combination it would seem like the players likely to work their way into the lineup would be either John Jerry or Brandon Mosley.
It is difficult to project a role for a player who has never faced this caliber of competition, or played under NFL rules, with pads on. It seems logical, and likely, that the Giants would like this to be a learning year for Jones and that down the line, perhaps as early as next year, Jones could be a legitimate candidate for a guard spot.