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Monday, October 19, 2020

Football

Miami, Tampa Bay among potential landing spots for OT Josh Jones in NFL mock drafts


Senior offensive tackle Josh Jones is expected to be picked in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft by many analysts. | Stephen Pinchback/Houston Athletics

Senior offensive tackle Josh Jones is expected to be picked in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft by many analysts. | Stephen Pinchback/Houston Athletics

Senior Josh Jones has called the Houston area home his entire life, but that will likely change Thursday during the 2020 NFL Draft where the offensive tackle is expected to be picked in the first round.

Although Jones won’t know where he will end up until draft day, many experts have taken their guess as to where the lineman’s NFL home will be:

Miami Dolphins

Leading the league with 14 picks, Miami is in control of the 2020 NFL Draft. 

The Dolphins are likely to fill the gaps of one of the worst offenses in the NFL, which ranked last in rushing (72.2) and 27th in total yards (310) per game in 2019.

Experts expect Miami to pick a quarterback, either Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert, with their No. 5 pick.

But its No. 18 pick, according to some mock drafts, could be used to beef up an offensive line that gave up 58 sacks last season, which tied for most in the NFL.

“The Dolphins got their quarterback at No. 5 overall,” said Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller of Miami’s second pick. “Now it’s time to protect him.”

For Good Morning Football podcast host Peter Schrager and Miller, that means picking up a much-needed Jones at No. 18.

“Adding Jones — a 6-7, 320-pounder, who logged four seasons as Houston’s starting left tackle — would be perfect,” Schrager said in his mock draft.

An NBC Sports post-free agency mock draft from Josh Norris also has the tackle going to the Dolphins 18th overall.

“Offenses need to have at least one tackle they can trust to leave in isolation,” Norris wrote. “Hopefully Jones can be that.”

Although some mocks, like CBS Sports’ R.J. White’s, have Jones going later in the draft, still to the Dolphins but at No. 26, others have the lineman ending up a little north of Miami.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

With 43-year-old Tom Brady taking over signal calling duties for Tampa Bay in 2020, some analysts think the Buccaneers are going to draft some protection for their new quarterback.

“The Bucs don’t move up for a OT, but they take the best available at No. 14,” said CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson in his mock draft. “Jones had a fantastic 2019 season and an even better Senior Bowl.”

Jones’ draft stock shot up in late January after his performance at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

“The 6-foot-7, 310-pound rock of a blocker effortlessly thwarted everything defensive linemen threw at him in one-on-one drills with a phenomenal display of knee bend, power in his upper half, and mirroring skills thanks to high-end athleticism,” said NFL analyst Chris Trapasso.

If drafted by Tampa Bay, Jones would join an offensive unit that gave up 47 sacks in 2019 and was 30th in average rushing yards per attempt (3.7).

Seattle Seahawks

Citing veteran 34-year-old Duane Brown’s age and fellow tackle Cedric Ogbuehi’s one-year deal with Seattle, NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter sees Jones going to the Seahawks at 27th overall.

Reuter predicts the Dolphins and Buccaneers still address their offensive tackles woes but will instead opt for Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills at No. 14 and 18, respectively.

Green Bay Packers

Draft analyst Bucky Brooks expects Jones to get picked a little later than his NFL.com colleague.

Brooks predicts Green Bay, which ranked in the top half of the league in rushing yards per game (112.2) and sacks allowed (12).

“The Packers could add an athletic blocker to the mix to better protect Aaron Rodgers while also enabling Matt LaFleur to fully implement a zone-based running game,” he said in his mock draft.

Cincinnati Bengals

In one of few mocks that have Jones falling out of the first round, ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. predicts the offensive tackle being taken at 33rd overall by the Bengals.

Cincinnati, which is widely expected to take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with their first overall pick, will go to Jones to protect its top selection, Kiper said.

Kiper believes Jones could move to inside the line to guard or to right tackle. 

The Burrow-Jones tandem, he said, would be the perfect draft outcome for the Bengals.

“This would be the ideal top two picks for Cincinnati.”

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