With their fourth and final 5th round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks addressed the offensive line for the first time, selecting Ohio State tackle Jamarco Jones 168th overall. Jones was a consistent starter for the Buckeyes over his final two seasons in Columbus, starting 27 straight games to close out his career.
Why Jones will succeed
The selection of Jones is a continuation of the team’s recent trend of targeting offensive lineman who come out of college with great success and pedigree, something that began with last year’s selection of Ethan Pocic. Jones leaves college as a technically sound tackle who performed on college football’s highest level. Entering the league as a consistent blocker with sound technique, Jones will be successful as long as he continues to develop.
Explosive out of stance, reach landmark, and beat the defender to the spot. Some of Jones’ pass sets leap off the screen. Definitely a guy I’d want to bring in and develop with strengths like this. pic.twitter.com/IIKiZtPS7q— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) April 20, 2018
Why Jones will fail
Jamarco Jones isn’t just unathletic for a Seattle offensive lineman; he’s unathletic for any NFL lineman.
when they say Jones tested poorly, they mean he tested POORLY.— Alistair Corp (@alistaircorp) April 28, 2018
- 3 cone in the 5th percentile
- vertical in the 11th
- broad in the 51st
- short shuttle in the 11th
but he performed at a very high level and isn't a 'project' by any stretch of the imagination.
Those aren’t the numbers of any high level offensive lineman in the league, and they could ultimately be a big reason why Jones fails in the NFL. However, there’s the possibility Jones was carrying a nagging injury into the Scouting Combine. Encouragingly, Jones not only survived but played great football with that athletic profile at Ohio State. A big reason for that is the way he excels in vertical sets. It helps negate a lack of athletic ability and gives him a chance even against speed rushers.
Year one role
Although we don’t know quite yet whether the Seahawks intend to keep Jones on the left side or try him on the right, it could have a major impact on his role as a rookie. If Jones is allowed to compete for the right tackle spot, he could beat out Germain Ifedi for the starting job as early as Week 1, or at the very least, push Ifedi every step of the way as Ifedi continues to try and establish himself as a consistent NFL starter. However, having played left tackle in college, and with George Fant returning from a torn ACL, it’s possible Jones is restricted to a reserve or potentially a swing tackle role.
Fit with the Seahawks
With the team moving on from Tom Cable and bringing in Mike Solari to be the new offensive line coach, an added focus on movement and agility was expected, in addition to the emphasis on explosiveness. However, Jones is so unathletic it makes it difficult to gauge what exactly it means for the team’s offensive line philosophy moving forward:
Even if Seattle is deemphasizing athleticism at the position, it won’t be to the extreme like Jones. However, he fits in that he adds competition to the tackle position, where it was desperately needed, and plays with the edge Pete Carroll loves.