Per Aaron Wilson who covers the Texans for the Houston Chronicle, Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones is set to meet with the Chargers via video call, along with a number of other teams, including the Rams, 49ers, Vikings, and Cardinals.
Houston LT Josh Jones @JoshJones_23 @UHCougarFB a rising first-round prospect from George Bush HS, has video conferences with Patriots, Texans, 49ers, Colts, Eagles, Rams, Chargers, Cardinals, Bucs, Bears, Ravens, Vikings, Jets, Packers #NFLDraft2020 @seniorbowl @JimNagy_SB— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 1, 2020
Jones was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Cougars after redshirting his first year on campus. He started strong out of the gate, surviving all 13 games as the team’s blindside protector. As a sophomore, he started 10 games, losing two to injury. Jones came back even better, starting all 13 games as a junior but somehow failed to make an all-conference team. The conference came around to Jones and named him a Second-Team All-AAC selection even though he only started the first nine games of the 2019 season before succumbing to another injury.
The Richmond, Texas-native was also a participant in this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl where he stood out amongst the nation’s top senior talent.
Don’t agree with popular take that this is an elite OT class. Lots of good prospects but none are lock top-10 talents or future Pro Bowlers. Not a Joe Thomas or Tyron Smith in this group. Off tape, @UHCougarFB Josh Jones belongs in mix with 4 juniors everyone is talking about. pic.twitter.com/6m0S0obv3P— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 27, 2020
Jones is firmly in the second-tier of offensive tackles that could start getting drafted as early as the late first round. While he did not test as well as some of the other top tackles (5.30 40, 28.5 vertical jump), Jones possesses natural footwork in pass protection that allows him to keep up with both speed and power rushers. He is a knee-bender, which simply means he doesn’t often bend at the waist and you won’t find him off-balance in pass protection.
One of the biggest traits you love to see in an offensive lineman is whether or not they try to “finish” their blocks and put defenders in the ground. One of his favorite moves is flashing his hands to get the defender to counter against air and then snatching his chest and throwing him in the dirt. It’s utterly demoralizing for the opponent and you can’t help but fall in love with that type of play.
Josh Jones is burying linebackers 15 yards downfield pic.twitter.com/1vVidQJRzY— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 23, 2020
Whether or not the Chargers move to a more zone-based run game or stick with their current power scheme, Jones fits both systems equally and would be an excellent pick at the top of the second round. He’s been mocked occasionally going as high as the middle of the first round but I think he winds-up being off the board between picks 25-40, depending how soon there is a run on offensive tackles.