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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Football

Josh Jones’ NFL Draft stock rises after ‘tremendous week’ at Senior Bowl


Josh Jones (No. 74) was the fifth Cougar in the past six years be invited to the senior showcase held annually in Mobile, Alabama. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Josh Jones (No. 74) was the fifth Cougar in the past six years be invited to the senior showcase held annually in Mobile, Alabama. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Josh Jones, with less than three months to go until the big day, rose to No. 18 in ESPN’s 2020 NFL Draft rankings updated on Thursday after the former offensive tackle’s performance at the Senior Bowl last week.

Jones, a former team captain who spent five years with the Cougars and played 45 games, garnered praise from Todd McShay, one of ESPN’s top draft analysts.

“I hadn’t seen enough of Jones’ tape during the season,” McShay said in his latest rankings, “but after a tremendous week at the Senior Bowl, I dug back in.”

Before the annual senior showcase, draft experts told The Cougar that Jones has the potential to be a first-round pick.

“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,” said CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso in December.

NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein commended on Jones’ athleticism when he spoke to The Cougar last month after the tackler was invited to the Senior Bowl.

“He needs to add more strength to his frame, but he’s got long arms,” he said. “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 and Trapasso both see NFL comparisons for Jones, including Chicago Bears starter Bobby Massie, All-Pro Tyron Smith and Pro Bowler Mitchell Schwartz.

Jones will have at least one more chance to show off his skills, especially his strength, at Houston’s pro day, likely sometime in March.

“He has good length, is very athletic and is tough to beat in pass protection,” McShay said. “But I’d like to see the senior continue to get stronger.”

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