Jon Gaines II, G, UCLA | NFL Draft Scouting Report

One of the most athletic players at his position, what does UCLA guard Jon Gaines II's scouting report suggest is his current NFL draft projection?

The 2023 NFL Draft class is deep and talented on both sides of the ball, including the offensive line, where UCLA guard Jon Gaines II is a name to watch as a potential mid-round value. While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Gaines’ scouting report suggest about his NFL Draft stock?

Jon Gaines II NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Guard
  • School: UCLA
  • Year: Redshirt Senior

Offensive linemen rarely get the credit they deserve. More often than not, they’re only being discussed during the broadcast when something goes wrong. A multi-year starter at UCLA, Gaines is preparing to make his dreams into reality as the 2023 NFL draft draws ever closer.

A three-star recruit and No. 128 Offensive tackle prospect in the nation, Gaines was elected to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association All-State team in 2017 a committed to play for UCLA. Seeing action in only one game, Gaines made his first start in 2019 against Cincinnati. Additionally, he played in all seven games during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

However, this period was especially difficult for Gaines and his family. During winter break of his freshman year, his father, Jon, told his son he had kidney cancer. Due to the high-risk nature of his condition, Gaines did not travel back home for several months during the 2020 season.

But as his father once said when initially telling him about his diagnosis, “That’s life,” a phrase Gaines wares on the inside of his arm in honor of his father who battled cancer and won.

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Gaines truly shined in his final two years. Starting 25 games over the final two seasons, Gaines saw action at center in 2021 and started at tackle for one game but made the remainder of his starts at right guard. He helped pave the way for a rushing attack that helped produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher Zach Charbonnet.

Surrendering just five sacks and nine penalties over his career at UCLA, Gaines could be one of the hidden gems of this draft class. The 6’4″, 303-pound guard is one of the most athletic players at his position.

Gaines was fourth among offensive linemen with a 5.01 40-yard dash, first in the three-cone (7.31), first in the agility (4.45), second in the vertical jump (32.5 inches), and second in the broad jump (9’6″).

Those numbers correlate to the NFL, as 24 of the 28 offensive linemen who ran a 4.47 shuttle or better since 2010 heard their names called during the draft. Those 24 went on the start 84% of their games in the NFL. Will Gaines join this club? To answer that, we have to turn to his scouting report.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Jon Gaines II

Strengths: Athletic offensive line prospect with size and upside. Sets with a wide base and stays square. Explosive at the point. Strong, turns defenders off the line, and is effective on the second level or blocking in motion.

Quick pulling across the line of scrimmage and gets out in front to create space between himself and the ball carrier. Anchors in pass protection and makes good use of angles.

Weaknesses: Stiff, off balance, and does not redirect to defenders blocking in motion. Gets knocked off the ball in pass protection and takes a while to gather himself.

Overall: Gaines is a nice-sized offensive lineman with growth potential who turned in an outstanding Combine workout. He displays that athleticism on the field, yet he needs to refine his game. He offers possibilities as both a zone blocker and power-gap lineman. If Gaines continues to develop, he could be a starting guard a year or two down the road.

Jon Gaines II’s Combine Measurements and Results

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 303 pounds
  • Arm Length: 33 5/8″
  • Hand Size: 10 1/8″
  • Bench Press: DNP
  • 40-Yard Dash: 5.01
  • Vertical Jump: 32.5″
  • Broad Jump: 9’6″
  • 3-Cone Drill: 7.31
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.45

UCLA Guard Jon Gaines II Current Draft Projection

There are some great offensive linemen in this year’s class, primarily at offensive tackle. Still, the interior has some top names as well, including Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, who will likely be one of the first linemen to hear his name called.

I don’t expect the same to be the case for Gaines, who is the G12 in Tony Pauline’s Big Board and No. 194 overall, with a 3.37 grade and a draft projection that places him inside of the sixth round.

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From a prospect standpoint, there’s quite a bit to like about Gaines, especially his athletic ability. That’s the kind of stuff you can’t teach. It’s why players like Jason Kelce, Joel Bitonio, and Ali Marpet are so valuable.

However, far more goes into it than just some numbers on the stopwatch. Much of Gaines’ success will likely come down to which style of blocking scheme the team that drafts him utilizes. A zone-heavy approach will likely benefit Gaines the most, as there are questions about his functional power.

Regardless, no NFL team will say they have enough offensive linemen. More is always better — especially for those with multi-positional versatility. Given the track record, I wouldn’t count out Gaines from having a long career in the NFL.

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