Josh Jones is a possible first-round pick in 2020 NFL Draft
The Buffalo Bills on April 25 selected former Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver with the No. 9 selection, marking the end of two years of no first-round picks for UH.
Houston may not have to wait much longer to produce another premier NFL talent.
Senior left tackle Josh Jones’ collegiate career is over. Now, it’s time for him to spend months preparing for 2020’s iteration of the NFL Draft, held in Las Vegas. His chances of making it in the first are good.
Jones measures in as a fringe first-round pick and likely second-rounder, according to NFL Draft experts NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein and CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso. Both see him elevating his stock if he has a good Senior Bowl performance in late January.
“He has the size, length, starting experience, production and athleticism of most prospects at his position who ultimately go in one of those first two rounds,” Trapasso said in a Twitter message.
At 6 feet 7 inches and 310 pounds, he has foundational NFL size at an important position.
“He needs to add more strength to his frame, but he’s got long arms, he’s a good athlete and he has really shown a great deal of improvement with his technique in pass protection as the season has progressed,” Zierlein said in a Twitter message. “He’s better in pass protection than he is a run blocker right now, but that’s okay because that’s what gets you drafted earliest – taking care of the quarterback.”
Both Zierlein and Trapasso agree that Jones is a stout pass protector. That correlates with their comparisons, as Zierlein sees him similar to Chicago Bears starter Bobby Massie while Trapasso has him as a fusion between All-Pro Tyron Smith and Pro Bowler Mitchell Schwartz.
The draft season has yet to ramp up. While the Cougars won’t be playing football until 2020, the NFL is, and so are bowling teams. However, Jones is getting attention, as he’s earned his fair share of spots as a first-rounder in mock drafts.
The hype for Jones is there. While not a definite first-round pick in all eyes, he plays an increasingly valuable position and is strongest in its most prominent trait – pass protecting. If he has good performances at the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and UH pro-day, Cougar nation may be looking at back-to-back first-round picks for the first time since 1972.