Year after year, Ohio State produces NFL-caliber offensive linemen, and 2018 shouldn’t be any different. Two-year starter Jamarco Jones is the next in a long line of successful left tackles for the Buckeyes, and is already drawing interest from teams at the next level.
The Buckeye is looking to prove that he’s the “Next Man Up” behind proven NFL successes, like Mike Adams, Alex Boone, Jack Mewhort and Taylor Decker. Jones spent two years as the backup to Decker before the latter was taken in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He played nearly 100 percent of snaps his rookie season before an injury ahead of the 2017 preseason forced him to spend just over half the year on IR.
Jones took over the starting role at OSU after Decker’s departure, and went on to start in 27 consecutive games through his junior and senior seasons, totaling 50 games played in the Scarlet and Gray. The Buckeye also earned All-Conference honors twice, and was a key factor in Ohio State ranking among the Top 20 rushing teams in the country (No. 11 in 2016, No. 17 in 2017). The Buckeyes led the Big Ten in rushing in both seasons with Jones starting at left tackle, and in 2016, the o-line was one of three units named as a finalist for the Joe Moore Offensive Line of the Year Award.
STRENGTHS: Pass sets feature adequate balance, a flat back and chin tucked. Looked much more confident in pass protection this year. Hands are efficient and quick and punches are well-timed. Patient pass slider who waits until target is in range to let hands go. Lands early to disrupt rusher’s rhythm. Has adequate reactive athleticism against inside moves. Mirror isn’t perfect but is good enough. Has some anchor to sit down against bull-rush. Flexes upper body power to jolt on redirect and down blocks. Catches base block with upward strike and cranks feet to secure. Works double teams with good technique. Impressive agility to adjust to moving targets. Has athletic ability and radar to spring big runs with second level blocks. Comes off first block with smoothness and times up linebackers.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t have optimal height/length for tackle. Needs to close distance and speed up hands against long edge-setters. Hip bend is average and pad level is high. Struggles to find optimal leverage at point of attack. May improve balance as drive blocker with wider base. Body control is below average. Power ends can stack and dislodge him. Approach angles and post-contact footwork are inconsistent. Outside hand is a little weak in pass protection. Will lunge against edge speed at top of the rush rather than sliding feet to protect the arc. Gets fooled by end/tackle twists. Tape shows potential concerns against good inside rush counters. Would like to see a little more edge in his play demeanor.
- Height: 6-4
- Weight: 299 lbs
- Hand size: 9 4/8”
- Arm length: 35 1/8”
- Wingspan: 85 1/8”
Bench press: DNP
40-yard dash: 5.50 sec (official time)
Vertical jump: 24”
Broad jump: 102.0”
3-cone drill: 8.32 sec
Jamarco Jones kick slide drill pic.twitter.com/7R5lmw33VP— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) March 2, 2018
Interview Notables and Quotables
Jamarco Jones has seemingly gone under the radar as he gets ready for the NFL Draft, but despite deciding not to play in the East-West Shrine Game, he’s spent the past couple of months training with a Buckeye and NFL legend. And it’s not just legend LeCharles Bentley, but the host of players (young and old) who train with him in the offseason.
“LeCharles Bentley, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s one of the most respected guys in the league when it comes to training players, and all the other NFL guys there, it’s nice just to be around those guys and get insight into what to expect especially going into this rookie year and this whole process of pre-draft and stuff like that, so it’s just nice to have those veterans there to give us a heads up on what to expect.”
Jones doesn’t have the stereotypical build for a tackle, but he doesn’t think that means he needs to shift positions. (It’s so strange that he’s considered short at 6-4, but that’s the new norm.) He thinks he could move to guard, but essentially will lineup wherever his new team tells him to. Paying attention to details is something Bentley has stressed during Jones’ Combine prep, and he’s hoping that’ll also help negate issues with his height.
“For one, my arm span definitely helps. I’m not necessarily 6’7’’ but I have the arm span of some of the guys that are 6’7’’ so that definitely helps me and I think I move my feet pretty well on the edge when it comes to pass blocking and things like that.”
Offensive lineman are one of the most successful position groups to transition from college ball at Ohio State to the NFL. Over the years, guys like Orlando Pace, Alex Boone, and Taylor Decker have shown what Buckeyes can do at the next level. Jones knows that he has a reputation to uphold, but he is up for the challenge.
“You want to continue that success. OSU has a long history of offensive linemen in general going to the NFL and producing and just being able to gain a lot of insight from those guys that have done it before me and use it to my benefit and hopefully help and prolong my career.”
Despite Jones flying under the radar thus far in the draft process, he’s still considered a solid mid-round pick. He chose to skip the East-West Shrine Game, making the NFL Combine his first chance to impress scouts. He finished pretty middle-of-the-road among the group of offensive lineman, and probably ended the weekend with the same draft stock as when he got to Indy.
He did meet with a lot of teams during his days at the combine, including an informal meeting with the Philadelphia Eagles. Bleeding Green Nation’s Ben Natan had one of the more reasonable scouting reports on the Buckeye.
Jones was a highly recruited guy out of high school and turned into a solid blocker for Ohio State. Jones will not overwhelm with physical tools, but his long arms and general playing strength make him a dependable part of a line. Jones might get outshone by his peers at the combine, but he could end up having a very steady career.
We’ll have to wait to see if his pro day showing did anything to boost his status a bit, but either way the Buckeye should expect to hear his name called.
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