Barrett Jones   OL   Alabama

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

 

STRENGTHS

Barrett has the size, athletic talent, mental toughness and football intelligence to play multiple positions on the line of scrimmage at a Pro Bowl level. He shows excellent pass blocking skills because of his strong lateral agility and the job he does mirroring his opponent.  He has the ability to anchor against the bull rush as well as the size and bulk to run block.  He is very smart and quick and uses his hands very well.  When Barrett is playing the tackle position, he has the foot speed and quickness to recover if he gets beat off the line of scrimmage.  This ability is very unusual for a man his size.  Barrett played the center position this year after playing left tackle last year and guard the year before.  He shows excellent leadership skills and recognition of his and his teammates blocking assignments. He identifies when he is having problems blocking his opponent and will adjust his style to meet the challenge during the game. He is a quarterback in a offensive lineman's body. He has the feet to be used in a pulling system and is athletic enough to get out in front for screens.  I call him Barrett (Bonus) Jones because he plays all of those positions with great proficiency. 

 

CONCERNS

There is no doubt that Barrett has to get stronger to avoid injury and to handle a 16 game schedule at the next level. Right now, Barrett is struggling with the lack of strength and is more of a finesse style blocker when run blocking.  Some teams will not like that and it will affect where he is drafted. Because of his lack of strength playing the center position, he will get pushed back into the backfield in the NFL.  He won't be able to fire out and get into his combo blocks quickly enough.  He also has to learn to stay with his blocks longer.  All of these issues can be quickly corrected with a good strength program and settling in at one position. He will need some time to get bigger and stronger or the injuries will keep him off the field. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

Add a good NFL conditioning program to this kid's talents and you have a Pro Bowl center, left tackle or guard for your team. I like the way he plays Left Tackle the best, but most of the NFL teams are going to think that his size fits the guard/center position better.  I don't, personally...I think he is a natural left tackle. Here's the key:  it doesn't matter.  Just draft him and play him and you'll have a Pro Bowl offensive lineman no matter where he plays.  He is that good and can play in any style of offensive line blocking scheme.  He played center this year and, at first, was hesitant.  As the year went on, he became more aggressive with his leadership skills and improved his blocking every time I saw him play. Most will consider him a finesse style of run blocker which will be their excuse not to draft him early.  I don't think you need to out muscle, drive block and dominate physically on every block to be a success at the next level.  Barrett understands that while he might be not as strong as the person he is blocking.  He understands that and will adjust during a game and will use his opponents' own strength and aggressiveness against them to dominate and make his blocks. You saw that in the Alabama-Georgia game.  Late in the game, Alabama ran right up the middle of the Georgia defense.  Barrett had the nose tackle (who was bigger and stronger) so frustrated in the 4th quarter because Barrett was smart enough to adjust his style of blocking from the 1st quarter when those defensive tackles were making plays against him.  That's leadership.  That's a Pro Bowl offensive lineman.  That's Barrett (Bonus) Jones.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Dec/2012