College football has been putting quite a few talented offensive tackles into the NFL lately, and the 2023 NFL Draft should be the next in a line of good offensive tackle drafts.
Georgia’s Broderick Jones was regarded as a raw developmental prospect at the start of the 2022 season, but since then he’s proven himself to be one of the draft’s top prospects. He boasts a big frame, long arms, smooth movement skills, and plenty of power.
The New York Giants hope to already have their offensive tackle positions locked down for the foreseeable future. However, it always makes sense to keep an eye on the cornerstone position groups, as they play a big role in shaping the overall draft board.
Prospect: Broderick Jones (59)
Games Watched: vs. Oregon (2022), vs. South Carolina (2022), vs. Tennessee (2022), vs. LSU (2022)
Games Played: 26 (13 in 2022)
Best: Size, length, play strength, athleticism, footwork, leverage, competitive toughness
Worst: Hand usage
Projection: A starting offensive tackle with scheme diversity.
(Jones is Georgia LT number 59)
Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones has a great blend of size, athleticism, play strength, and competitive toughness to play the position at the NFL level.
Jones has prototypical size for an offensive tackle at 6-foot-5, 311 pounds, with 34 ¾ inch arms. He carries his 311 pounds very well and doesn’t appear to have much excess weight, while also having evident power in his upper and lower halves. Jones also has very good lower-body flexibility despite his thickness and is a smooth athlete for the position.
He is easily able to settle into a compact stance and is a natural knee bender. Jones consistently plays with good knee bend, hip level, and pad level, and is able to maintain it throughout the rep. He also has very smooth footwork and is able to stay balanced while moving laterally to mirror speed on the edge. Jones is unhurried in his movements, but by no means slow; he’s able to quickly hit his landmarks as a pass protector or get in position as a run blocker. He is also effective blocking in space on screen plays.
Jones is a reliable pass protector and a very powerful run blocker. He’s able to execute both man-gap and zone blocks equally well. He gets and stays in sync with his linemates as a zone blocker, and is able to stress defenses laterally. He’s also able to generate movement in down-hill power run schemes. Jones is easily able to overpower linebackers and is even able to displace defensive linemen and does a passable imitation of a snowplow.
He plays with a mauler’s mentality and consistently looks to finish his blocks with the defender on the ground. Jones is always looking for work, and fights to sustain his blocks through the echo of the whistle.
Like many offensive line prospects who are able to win, or dominate thanks to their size, strength, or athleticism (or all three), Jones will need technical refinement at the NFL level. He is often late firing his punch, and when he does, his hands often land low or outside defenders’ framework. His sheer power is able to compensate for his poor hand placement, but NFL defensive linemen will be able to exploit his poor technique. Wide and slow hands could also open him up to offensive holding penalties as well.
Overall Grade: 8.5
Broderick Jones projects as a starting offensive tackle at the NFL level.
Jones will be selected highly in the draft and therefore expected to start pretty much immediately. He has the traits to be a successful offensive lineman and might even have Pro Bowl upside. However, he will also need development to reach his ceiling and his first year could be a rocky one.
Jones flashes decent hand usage often enough to give confidence that he’ll be able to get there with good coaching, but his rookie season will likely involve an adjustment period. He already plays with good leverage and has the feet to stay at tackle in the NFL When he does play with good technique, he is capable of dominating his competition. The next level of his development will be to get him to play at that level consistently. He’s well worth the investment, and a team that’s able to effectively develop Jones should be well rewarded.