Offensive line is yet again a glaring need for the Giants after they only signed one player who was primarily a backup in free agency. The Giants need to spend a lot of their draft capital on offensive lineman, and they need to do so early.
At the fourth overall pick, taking an offensive lineman might be difficult considering the available defensive talent. If they don’t get their guy in the first round, there are underrated options available on Day 2 at center and tackle.
Houston’s Josh Jones fits the bill for an early second round pick the Giants could take to solidify their need of young talent. He’s just on the outside of the top crop of tackles who will be gone early in the first, but still has the potential to succeed.
Prospect: Josh Jones OT Houston
Games Watched: vs. Oklahoma (2019) , vs. Tulane (2019), vs. Cincinnati
Red Flags: None
Best: Pass blocking, natural strength
Worst: Run blocking, foot speed
Projection: Starting left or right tackle
(Jones is left tackle number 74)
Jones was a difficult tackle prospect to get a real feel for what his potential was. There were many plays where he had really clean steps and halted pass rushers immediately on first contact with great leverage and strength. There were other plays where he bent at the waist and whiffed on defensive tackles while zone blocking.
What Jones does right is hard to ignore. He’s not the most athletic tackle in the class or has the quickest feet, but his consistency is noticeable. He’s naturally very strong and powerful, allowing him to dictate control in one-on-one situations. In the three games I watched, there were very limited plays where he looked beat. None of which resulted in sacks.
His hand placement on his best plays is strong too. Once he grabs onto the inside of a defender, he’s able to redirect their momentum. A few plays Jones flashed his awareness by allowing overly aggressive defenders to fall forward while planting them into the ground.
His run blocking is his biggest need for improvement. Jones sometimes fires off the ball too high with poor angles. This leads to him missing defensive tackles or linebackers at the second level. He also needs to work on keeping his shoulders square and not open them up to allow forward penetration. When he does fire off well with the correct angle, his initial drive could be better. He will try to overcompensate his mistakes by using his strength.
Overall Grade: 6.5 Eventual Starter [Grading Scale]
Jones has upside specifically because of his strengths and how they relate to the NFL now. In a league that is more reliant on throwing the ball, Jones’s pass-blocking prowess will help boost his draft stock. If you watch his tape you rarely see one-on-one plays that result in even a pressure.
His experience with a pass-first program like Houston and the consistency he developed from it makes him an ideal left tackle. Jones might not be the best tackle in this year’s class, but his dominance over multiple seasons brings him into the first round conversation.
Various parts of his technique need improvement. However, the overall skillset that Jones brings to the table makes him one of the best tackle prospects in this year’s draft class.