NFL DraftNFL News

Analysis: Can Ohio State OT Dawand Jones overcome doubts again?

Analysis: Can Ohio State OT Dawand Jones overcome doubts again?
Analysis: Can Ohio State OT Dawand Jones overcome doubts again?

Dawand Jones, the offensive tackle for Ohio State, has generated a lot of buzz especially after the season.  The left tackle for the Buckeyes is known for his massive size and length.  He is a 6’8.5, 370-pound mountain of a man, and according to Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, has the longest wingspan of any player in Senior Bowl history at 89.5 inches.

Despite his massive size, raw strength, and girth, plenty of questions linger, notably whether he can handle the explosive and high-quality edge rushers in the National Football League.  While I was at the Michigan-Ohio State game, one NFC West scout echoed these concerns at halftime.  Even at the Senior Bowl, some around the league did not agree with Nagy.  I asked one highly-respected NFL evaluator whether Jones helped himself at the Senior Bowl, and his response was hardly enthusiastic.

Many of these same questions existed when Jones was a high school prospect at Indianapolis Ben Davis High School.  As someone who lives in the area, I got to see up-close Jones’ early development days at one of Indiana’s 6A power programs.  His size was a mismatch for local high school programs, which often played to his advantage.  Yet his skeptics should remember that Jones won a state championship in 2017 under Mike Kirschner, advanced to the semi-state in 2019 under Jason Simmons, and he was also a good post player for the Giants’ basketball team,

One former Division I college personnel director told me his program had serious concerns about his weight and whether he could fit into a Division I strength and conditioning program, which is why they never offered him.  The Buckeyes, though, took a chance.  Jones has clearly gotten stronger during his time in Columbus and has reshaped his body, yet can he handle NFL edge rushers? 

Time will tell whether Jones has the goods.  What is for certain is that he is an undeniable and rare athlete who will be closely watched in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button