Ben Jones is the best center in this draft. He is not a guard, he is a center. He has the mental toughness you look for in all offensive linemen along with being smart and the leadership skills that you must to have in a center. He has good size and can make all the snaps with confidence. He is very quick out of his stance and has enough lateral agility to help out the guards when pass blocking. Ben is a better pass blocker than he is a run blocker. That's not to say he is a bad run blocker; it just means his ability to pass block is outstanding. When pass blocking, Ben is a true guardian of the middle of the field. He does not let anyone come up the middle of the field, push the pocket and flush his QB out of the pocket. He is like a pocket protector.
Ben wants to be a power run blocker and he is not. He is the type of center that needs to understand that his foot speed and agility makes him a technique and finesse run blocker. Once he understands this and stops trying to be a power run blocker, he will be a lot better than he is right now. When he goes to the second level to make blocks, he is late and stumbles. His change of direction skills are poor to say the least. But when he goes to the second level and screens his block off with good techniques, he is very successful. He does fine with getting out for screen passes and sweeps; however, as soon as he needs to change directions or cut to make a block, he loses his balance, leverage and will be on the ground. The truth is Ben is at his best defending the middle of the field, so just keep him in the middle and let the rest work itself out.
Ben just has to realize he is not the offensive lineman you run the quarterback sweep over, or gain 4th and 1 for a first down with. There is nothing wrong with that and right now trying to be that type of player hurts him. When he blocks for a running play, he must be who he is, a player who is quick out of his stance and can beat most opponents (in close quarters) to their spot. That's what Ben does best. He is not going to power a player out of the hole, but he can beat a player and then screen him from making the play. He is smart, mentally tough, has decent athleticism and can pass block at an NFL level right now. All he has to do is accept who he is when he run blocks and he will be a center for a very long time in the NFL. Ben will be a core player and a coach's favorite as well as a quarterback's friend for all of his football life. This is the best center in this draft and if a team needed a center, reaching and drafting Ben a little early would not be a bad thing at all. It's never a bad thing to reach for the best, right?! Ben (The Pocket Protector) Jones.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart March/12