NFL Beast

The Best Damn NFL News Site Ever!

Draft Darlings: Christian Jones is an underrated draft prospect

5 min read

#NFLBeast #NFL #NFLTwitter #NFLUpdate #NFLNews #NFLBlogs

#KansasCity #Chiefs #KansasCityChiefs #AFC #ArrowheadPride

By: Caleb James

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas offensive tackle should be drawing more attention.

The Texas Longhorns were among the most stacked teams in college football in 2023, making the College Football Playoff while having several players projected to go high in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With all the hype, it can be easy for some quality players to get lost in the shuffle.

Right tackle Christian Jones is one such player, and for a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, who need quality offensive line depth, digging deeper into his game would be a good idea.


Standing at 6’5” and weighing 305 lbs., Jones is slightly undersized when it comes to a typical offensive tackle frame, but his 34.5” long arms do give him the necessary reach advantage to make it as a tackle in the league.

Jones didn’t do any jumping tests at the combine— tests that display explosion— but he did have a good 10-yard split on his 40-yard dash time at 1.77 seconds. The 10-yard split is critical for offensive linemen, as it shows explosion out of a stance and tests short-area movement.

A sneaky good combine for Jones backs up what he put on tape.

Pass protection

Pass protection was vital in creating explosive passing plays down the field in the high-powered Texas offense.

Jones was solid in protection, using quick feet and a strong core to hold off some of the best pass rushers in the nation.

On the snap, Jones is smooth out of his stance and moving quickly but not rushing. Although he does bend at the waist and lunge to a degree, he absorbs the impact of the pass rusher and wins the inside hand fight while sinking his hips to anchor down and win the rep.

The smooth glide into the drive, catch motion, and ability to sink his hips and anchor down show that Jones has the necessary physical tools and traits to play in the NFL. His hands may need work, and he may never be a natural striker in pass protection, but when he does lock on to a player and can keep his hands tight and feet moving, he is hard to beat.

Jones is on high alert, with Washington lined up to rush the passer in a wider front. With a wide inside pass rusher lined up to the B-gap and a wider outside rusher lined up to the C-gap, Jones doesn’t initially set outside. He takes one quick inside step, assesses the situation, and quickly locks onto the edge.

Once locked on, his natural grip strength and ability to fight and mirror are on display. His feet never stop moving, and the edge rushers have no chance.

Quick feet are one of the most important things linemen can have, but playing with high effort and grit is also up there.

Run blocking

Jones is an above-average pass blocker, but where he thrived while at Texas was run blocking. Taking advantage of his size, frame and quickness off the snap, Jones was a road grader but also had the movement skills to thrive in space.

Alabama uses a run blitz to attempt to stop Texas around the line of scrimmage. Texas runs zone, and Jones climbs to the blitzing linebacker. Once at the second level, Jones locks on the linebacker and drives him backward.

With his nasty streak on full display, Jones pancakes the linebacker, and the running back follows the space for a nice gain.

Jones has a powerful lower body and can win inside close quarters. On backside reach blocks and down blocks, he fires off the ball low and can displace defenders off the line.

Jones has to cut off the backside 3-technique on this play where Texas is running an RPO look. On the snap, Jones fires out of his stance and takes a good angle to get to the 3-technique.

Getting to the defender with lower pads and loaded hands, Jones lands a big shot on the defensive tackle and knocks him backward.

The force from the block puts the defenders on his back, and Jones jumps on top of him, letting him know who won the play.

Physicality on inside running plays and athletic ability in space should put Jones on the Chiefs’ radar.

Fit with Kansas City

Jones may not have his name thrown around with the upper echelon of offensive linemen in this year’s draft class, but he can certainly still have a solid NFL career.

His height and size put him as somewhat of a “tweener” between a tackle and guard, but positional versatility is something coveted by the Chiefs.

The long arms will always give him a chance to play tackle in the NFL, but his power in the run game and ability to play with leverage open up the ability to play guard.

If the Chiefs were able to draft Jones, he would likely start his career as a backup, but by drafting him, they could possibly have both their swing tackle and swing guard for the 2024 season. If the team thinks he projects well enough to guard, this could open up a chance for him to compete for a starting spot along the offensive line in the 2025 season. The team will have decisions to make regarding the future of Trey Smith and Joe Thuney.

Jones played in 61 career games for Texas and is a seasoned college player who has gone against the best competition possible.

Finding quality depth along the offensive line will always be a priority for Kansas City. Jones, at worst, has a chance to be a solid backup, but if he can continue to grow and improve as a player, he can possibly find a way to start.

Using a day-three pick on him would be wise for the Chiefs.

Originally posted on Arrowhead Pride