The 2023 NFL Draft offensive tackle class is wide open, and one popular candidate to take advantage with his scouting report is Georgia OT Broderick Jones. Jones entered 2022 with barely any experience but a disproportionate amount of hype. Where does that hype originate from, and is it warranted? Let’s find out.
Broderick Jones NFL draft profile
Heading into the 2022 season, Jones only had four career starts to his name. And yet, you probably saw his name at least a half-dozen times in early summer 2023 NFL mock drafts. There’s a reason for that. Even with his lack of experience, Jones was anointed as a future early-round pick long before even the 2021 season.
It started as far back as high school, where Jones was a dominant blocker in Lithonia, Georgia. His success as a high school blocker was so great that he eventually earned a five-star recruit billing in the 2020 class. He would have been a heavily sought-after player, but Jones committed to the in-state titan Georgia Bulldogs all the way back in 2018. Jones was set on Georgia, and Georgia was set on him.
Jones maintained his redshirt in 2020 while playing sparsely as a reserve. But in 2021, he saw an uptick in reps, particularly when starting left tackle Jamaree Salyer was injured late in the season. Logging starts against teams like Tennessee and Missouri, Jones displayed tangible growth over a short time span and flashed his astronomical potential.
With Salyer gone, Jones is now the full-time starter at left tackle for the first time in his career. And everyone is on the edge of their seat for the breakout that’s set to occur.
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Georgia
- Current Year: Redshirt Sophomore
- Height/Weight: 6’4″, 315 pounds
Broderick Jones scouting report
A former five-star recruit and borderline top-10 player in his class, Jones has the look and feel of an NFL contributor. And as his limited tape thus far has shown, his physical talent has translated well at the collegiate level.
There’s one obvious selling point to Jones’ profile, and it’s why he’s already appearing in first-round mocks with less than a full season’s worth of starts under his belt. Jones has tremendous physical upside. It starts with his mold. He has a strong, dense frame with an excellent combination of natural leverage and elite proportional length. He’s also a phenomenal athlete within that frame and carries a lot of favorable physical qualities.
Jones is an amped-up mover for his size, who can quickly widen and match opponents off the line in both phases. Going further, he’s an explosive athlete who can accelerate quickly when attacking space, using fast feet to pursue linebackers. He gets upfield with very little delay, and he gets good depth on his kick in pass protection.
Beyond his explosiveness, Jones is a superb lateral mover who can tempo up around the apex to match surging rushers and close them off. The Georgia OT has the lateral agility to match defenders and quickly recover on inside/outside moves. For his size, he can change directions and reset his shoulder alignment in space very well.
Expanding on his athleticism, Jones has good range in space. He can get out ahead of RBs and rumble downfield, surging into contact. And closer to the line, he’s able to track across the formation as a pulling blocker on split-zone runs and run down space defenders.
Athleticism is vital, but NFL tackles need more than that. They need power and strength. Those tools are readily available with Jones as well. Jones’ near-elite length and rotational freedom grant him high-level power capacity. He’s able to torque and hold defenders in place with one-arm extensions. And upon extending, he can use his length to channel awesome power and his hips to generate additional torque and drive through rotations, sending defenders to the turf.
Not only does Jones have impressive raw power, but he can also effectively drive power forward with his lower body after making contact, paving open lanes inside. The Georgia OT has the power output to move edge defenders off the line in run defense consistently. He’s also adaptable with his power generation, able to quickly redirect and drive defenders downhill when defenders flip their hips to facilitate pursuit.
Moving on, Jones has enough core strength to delay power rushes when latched inside the torso. The Georgia OT also flashes great grip strength and torque in succession. He can maintain his grip when imbalanced and use his own momentum to fuel violent rotations, throwing defenders back. His physical traits consistently allow him to compensate when his technique is flawed.
Another unique feature of Jones’ profile is his natural leverage afforded to him by his 6’4″ frame. Jones is slightly shorter than average for a tackle, and his height opens an easier path to proper leverage. With that height, he’s shown he can effectively acquire leverage off the snap. He plays with decent knee bend and can lower his pads ahead of contact. Additionally, he’s shown he can surge his pads into blocks and activate his lower body with proper leverage.
Jones also brings exceptional overall flexibility, another very appealing trait for his NFL projection. The Georgia OT has the high-level flexibility necessary to quickly swivel around, reset his base, and plow defenders out of run paths. He’s able to quickly change directions to seal off linebackers crashing the B gap with his hip flexibility. He also has the torso flexibility to reset his center of gravity and recover on anchored reps after being wrenched back.
Jones’ flexibility aids him both when anchored and when playing in space. He has the freedom of movement to adjust his hip alignment swiftly after exploding upfield to chip blockers. Moreover, he can flip to seal rushers outside, then flip again to match direction changes and lock them down, showing impressive alignment control.
Technique is an area that needs further refinement from Jones. But 2021 was not without its bright moments. Jones has at least shown he can punch inside the torso and lock out extensions while resetting his base and absorbing power. He has the fast hand capacity to violently replace anchors after swipes and re-load power, and he flashes combative, independent hand usage in spurts.
He can snatch at opponent’s wrists to nullify strikes, anchor under pads, and use separate one-hand extensions to pry defenders off attack paths in 2-on-1 situations.
With his lower-body mechanics, Jones can match rushers laterally and stay in phase around the apex. While he can be erratic at times with his weight distributions, he visibly improved that part of his game over his starting sample in 2021. He’s able to quickly reset his base and stay uniform while doing so.
For a young player, Jones shows great promise with his awareness and processing speed — two traits that can be translatable for further growth. He flashes good awareness as a help blocker when unencumbered, knows when to flip his hips to seal off rushers at apex, and has good sense of timing. On top of that, he’s shown he can maintain discipline against stunts. He processes and reacts to looping defenders quickly and naturally passes off defenders while resetting his base.
Jones blends a vast, exciting mix of strengths together with his overarching physicality. The Georgia OT has a violent disposition and can capitalize on defenders who sacrifice leverage. He actively seeks to bury opponents as a moving blocker.
Jones’ areas for improvement
It’s not a surprise, given how young he is, but Jones still has a ways to go in terms of technique. His footwork and hand usage are both areas of needed improvement, but his most pressing issue right now might be his leverage. Even though he has good natural leverage at 6’4″, he still struggles to maintain his leverage through and across reps.
Jones’ frame, although long and well-proportioned, is a bit high-cut. As a result, he frequently pops up too tall off the snap. This tendency to default to a high initial pad level can make him easy to get underneath and shed. Going further, Jones sometimes jolts upright at contact, inhibiting his ability to fully drive through and displace defenders. He’ll also lead with shoulders into blocks, which neutralizes his base and can cause him to lurch.
Expanding on Jones’ leverage, the Georgia OT too often lurches beyond his center of gravity in pass protection and can stand to bend his knees more. His pass sets can have more axial neutrality overall, as a lack of synergy can create a consistent skew. In a similar vein, Jones struggles to maintain leverage when matching back at times, and he’s sometimes erratic with his pad level.
Operationally, Jones sometimes latches with his hands too wide, allowing defenders to get inside his torso and forklift up with power. He’ll sometimes bear hug to compensate. Going further, Jones extends too high when seeking to anchor at times. He has room to keep his hands lower in his stance, so he can load power and punch up with full freedom. Jones can also attain better synergy with his feet and hands. He sometimes attempts to extend while off-balance, with his pads too high.
As far as footwork is concerned, Jones can be more controlled and calculated at times. He can be more precise with his positioning at the start of reps. His feet sometimes drift in pass protection, skewing his center of gravity as opponents approach. His base can be more consistently uniform, as staggered feet sometimes cause him to lose control and balance. When power exertion is involved, Jones occasionally halts his feet before contact and can do a better job driving forward.
Moving onward, Jones’ overall strength, while solid, isn’t quite at the level of his athleticism or power capacity. His grip strength can improve on anchors at times, as he doesn’t always latch cleanly and can be relatively easy to shed. To that end, his grip can be broken by powerful rips, which can demolish his center of gravity and delay his recovery. Jones also doesn’t quite have the elite core strength to lock down rip moves and keep opponents across-face consistently.
Among other things, Jones sometimes struggles to control his momentum and pad level in space, veering past blocks. He’ll also overpursue blocks in space, and he needs to do a better job of squaring up linebackers at the second level. Jones sometimes aligns his hips too far off-center when anchored in pass protection, allowing defenders to rip and swim the opposite way. And at times, he can better align his hips off the snap to reach the necessary landmarks.
Current draft projection for Georgia OT Broderick Jones
Jones’ draft projection right now is exactly that — a projection. There’s far more growth for him to undergo before he reaches his ceiling. Nevertheless, that ceiling is in Round 1 territory. And if Jones takes the leap that many expect him to in 2022, his first year as a full-time starter, then he has the physical talent to emerge as one of the top tackles in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jones’ projection is buoyed by an excitingly complete physical skill set. As an athlete, he’s explosive, amped-up, agile, flexible, and carries enough range in space. He has near-elite length but also brings a degree of natural leverage with his 6’4″ frame. His length equates to high-level power capacity, and he also has very good play strength with his dense, compact frame.
Jones has all the tools. The next step is to maximize those tools. There are still a number of avenues that Jones can take to accomplish this. Even with his natural leverage, he needs to kick his habit of playing tall and better manage his pad level. He needs to refine his stance and pass set and can be more consistent with his overall technique. And he needs to do all this against top-tier SEC competition.
The demands, and the stakes, are high. But that’s been the expectation for Jones since high school when he was a highly-coveted five-star recruit. If Jones can take the necessary steps in 2022, he has the profile of a high-upside starter at left or right tackle in the NFL.