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With Tom Brady in hand for the next year or two, is there a young developmental quarterback that the Bucs could draft in the mid-rounds that fits Bruce Arians’ system?

That’s one of the many questions we attempt to answer in this week’s Bucs Briefing, as we break down three prospects the team is likely to consider in the first, second and third rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Remember, Bucs Briefing is NOT meant to be viewed as a comprehensive mock draft. I’m simply evaluating three different prospects in three different rounds that Tampa Bay could be interested in, with the hopes of having eventually covered the three players they will eventually draft. The three players I’ll break down below aren’t meant to be viewed as a three-round mock.

Today’s first-round pick forces us to face a scenario where four tackles are likely off the board, resulting in a quandary for the Bucs. If they choose to select my fifth-ranked offensive tackle, here’s what they’d be getting at No. 14:

Round 1, Pick 14

Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Height: 6-5

Weight: 320

Class: Junior

D.O.B.: 6/21/97

Statistical Profile: Jones has started every game he’s played in over the past four years at Houston, amassing 45 starts after his redshirt season in 2015. Every start came at left tackle.

Scouting Jones: Jones’ detractors point to his unorthodox pass sets and wonder how he’ll acclimated to a totally different caliber of pass rusher in the NFL. These questions are very fair, and it is undoubtedly the difficulty in evaluating Jones, or any other non-Power 5 offensive lineman.

The good news about Jones is that while he certainly has some room to grow in his footwork, his tape is about as dominant in pass protection as one can be, and that’s been the case going back the past two or three seasons. The redshirt senior just hardly allowed a dent in his four seasons as a starter, locking down the left side with excellent hand usage, a strong anchor and the ability to mirror pass rush counters with smooth feet.

Jones is an average athlete with about average length for the tackle position, so it’s fair to wonder how he’ll match up with some of the best athletes in the world at the next level (edge defender is one of the most athletic positions on a NFL field). While we obviously can’t say for certain, the best barometers we have are the top teams Jones has played, Oklahoma and Washington State, and the fact that he was completely dominant against both of them.

Granted, neither of those Power 5 teams are boasting elite edge rushers, but the Senior Bowl had a few, and Jones was easily the best offensive tackle there. He won far more than he lost, and he did so even while seeing a few reps at guard and a good chunk at right tackle – two spots he didn’t play while at Houston.

Another thing to consider about Jones when we talk about how his footwork needs to improve in pass protection: he’s not starting from square one and he doesn’t have a big false step or other bad habits. He takes real pass sets on tape, it just doesn’t happen all the time and the Senior Bowl revealed situations where he may need to set a little deeper against speed rushers.

First rep is against a power rusher, which Jones handles with ease. We’ve still gotta see how he handles some of the Gumby-style long arm rushers he’ll see in the NFL, but Jones drops anchor against bull rushes and shuts down the majority of inside moves.

The second tweet shows where some of the concerns exist, as Jones short set Utah’s Bradlee Anae and was beaten around the edge as a result. When you short set you often end up reaching to stop guys’ up-field momentum, rather than moving your feet to obstruct their path. Jones will need to grow in that area moving forward.

One of my favorite things about Jones is that he plays with a nasty edge to his game, a demeanor that would suit him well even if he gets moved inside at the next level. Jones plays so under control and smooth that you almost sleep on his power, but it’s there in droves, especially considering he’s a non-Power 5 tackle. He doesn’t play with consistent enough leverage in the run game to be considered a “people mover,” but he still generates enough movement to open holes and seal off rush lanes.

Jones is also a savvy pass protector, often using snatch-and-trap moves and swatting down rushers hands with a quick swipe to knock them off balance. He’s great at throwing a faux punch out there to draw out his opponent’s hands first, allowing Jones to then go on the offensive.

The risk with Jones is real in that he’s going to see a significant uptick in competition level and his technique does need improvement. But his balance, body control, strength, hand usage and smooth movement skills should project just fine to the NFL. Remember, almost all rookie offensive tackles struggle early in their careers as starters. It’s a huge leap for all of them. But Jones has the traits, mentality and enough technique and athleticism that he should become a strong starter at the next level.

Bucs Fit: The Bucs’ biggest concern with drafting Jones is likely whether he could play right tackle or not. He looked comfortable enough at the Senior Bowl to believe he can make the transition, but the sample size is pretty small.

If the Bucs determine he can, is he worth the 14th overall pick? Even as a Jones fan, that’s a little rich for my blood. I would understand the move and it could work out fine in the end, however there is a decent amount of projection to his fit in Tampa Bay that makes me a little wary. Ideally, the team could trade down a few spots and select Jones, but that’s tough to do with some offensive tackle-needy teams close behind the Bucs, starting at No. 18 in Miami.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

I wonder if the Bucs have a high grade on Eason or maybe they like the QBs that will go in day three far more than Eason.

Hard to tell right now but it seems like the Bucs like the day three QBs far more than Eason. But if the Bucs want to roll the dice on physical traits than Eason fits the bill.

ScottC543
1 year ago

We don’t need a QB that is “brutal under pressure”. Because the NFL is all about pressuring the QB. Someone who is more worried about avoiding the hit than he is keeping his eyes downfield can’t be successful in this league.

Hank Scorpio
1 year ago

This draft would be a nightmare scenario. An OT with a huge learning curve at an immediate position of need, the 5th best running back prospect in the 2nd rd, and a mentally weak and turnover prone QB. The OT choice I would at least understand because it’s a necessity and the options might be limited when we pick, but there are better RB options than Swift that will be available with our 2nd pick. Cam Akers has more upside than Swift. He’s a homerun threat, has good receiving skills (TD rec against UF is a prime example) and produced… Read more »

Rob
Rob
Reply to  Hank Scorpio
1 year ago

Hank (and others on this thread)….PLEASE read the article. Jon’s doing an incredible job of providing scouting reports on guys that the Bucs “may” be interested in depending on the round. This is NOT a Mock Draft of who he thinks we’re taking in rounds 1-3. He’ll have more scouting reports of other potential draftees that we can read about in these rounds so we can be well versed in ALL of the prospects. Probably not unlike the actual scouting department is doing.

I’m loving the scouting reports, Jon. Keep it up man.

Hank Scorpio
Reply to  Rob
1 year ago

I realize its not a prediction but a possibility depending on how the board falls, which is why I said this would be a nightmare scenario.

Runole
Reply to  Hank Scorpio
1 year ago

Agree I think Akers is a better prospect. I like rbs that have played QB and Akers played behind arguably one of the worst OL’s in CFB.

Spitfire
1 year ago

Ok, I get the point of this Mock where you are assuming this is what we have to choose from, but instead of drafting a WB in the 3rd that falls apart from any sign of pressure, what about Jalen Hurts? What are your thoughts on him? He seems like a guy with athleticism, an arm, stats, and not a high grade. What would you think about him in the 3rd instead?

chefboho
Reply to  Spitfire
1 year ago

My thoughts exactly. If we take any QB third round or beyond, it seems like Hurts would be that guy. Strong arm and serious mobility. I didn’t watch a ton of him but he looked really good this past year. As far as running back, give me Dobbins, Taylor, or Ackers.

DT25
1 year ago

“I typically don’t like scouting running backs because they are so scheme and blocking dependent that it makes it difficult to separate their raw ability from the context of what is happening around them.”

The perfect example why we probably shouldn’t be spending another top pick on RB. As much as I like Swift, I don’t think he’s what we need. I do think we need a true receiving back to pair with RoJo…but with Brady in town, and improvement to the OL, we should be just fine with RoJo and a rookie pass catcher.

Dave
Reply to  DT25
1 year ago

Completely agree DT25. If I can’t pick up C.Thompson or Ty Montgomery as a pass catching back, I think we’re better off grabbing Akers or Helaire with the 3rd or first 4th. Or if Dobbins happens to fall to the 3rd, I’d gladly take him. I’d rather a veteran pass catching back like Montgomery or Thompson who can block and always remain on the field, as opposed to a rookie pass catching back that may need a year 2 to be fully trusted in pass pro by TB12. I’d rather sign Thompson or Montgomery, and then draft a tandem RB… Read more »

Spartan01
1 year ago

If Wills is still available at #9, would our third and fourth round comp pick be enough to move up to get him? Is it worth it to get him (or Andrew Thomas) over a Josh Jones, Isaiah Wilson, Austin Jackson, Ben Bartch? Going back 5 years our 3rd and 4th round picks have been guys like Kwon Alexander, Ryan Smith, Kendall Beckwith, Alex Cappa, Jordan Whitehead, Mike Edwards, Anthony Nelson. 1. Jedrick Wills OT 2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB 3. (traded to JAX) 4. KJ Hill WR 4. (traded to JAX) 5. Bravvion Roy DT 6. Kamal Martin LB or… Read more »

Charlie
1 year ago

I would actually like to see the Bucs wait on drafting a QB to learn from Tom next year. Get as many impact players this year like Jones and Swift, who I like. But let’s assume we’re picking at the bottom of the first next year. Let’s go pull a Mike Ditka for Trevor Lawrence and just go Rd 2 with Tom and the squad? Go Bucs!

Dman
1 year ago

Not a fan of this one Jon. Taking Jones at #14 feels like a reach. Would be surprised if Swift is there in RD2, and definitely would not take a QB in this draft.

jshumaker
1 year ago

As much as they are all in this year, I would even be willing to give up next year’s first round pick to get an additional second round pick this year

magoobee
1 year ago

The reality is the Bucs should pick one of the top 14 players in the draft.

Look at this list. Who on this list wouldn’t Buc fans love to have.

1 Joe Burrow
2 Chase Young
3 Tua Tagovailoa
4 Jeffrey Okudah
5 Isaiah Simmons
6 Tristan Wirfs
7 Justin Herbert
8 Mekhi Becton
9 Derrick Brown
10 Jedrick Wills
11 CeeDee Lamb
12 Jerry Jeudy
13 Andrew Thomas
14 Javon Kinlaw

Bucko40
1 year ago

Taking a QB in this draft is imperative. There is no guarantee that Brady plays 2 seasons. Best case and worst case scenario for the Bucs is they win the Super Bowl. Brady has his 7th ring and nothing left to prove and retires. Bucs pick 32nd with no starting QB for 2021.

magoobee
1 year ago

Realistically, there are only 2 reasons to draft a QB.

1. Because you expect them to be your franchise QB and basically you have to draft those types in round 1.
2. Save Cap space.

Since the Bucs are not going to draft a QB at #14, they just need to draft one in rd 6 to save caps space by cutting Griffen. I know PR has touted Nate Stanley who is fine as a backup. A guy I like is Jake Luton. Reminds me an athletic Mike Glennon.

SenileSenior
1 year ago

“Remember, Bucs Briefing is NOT meant to be viewed as a comprehensive mock draft. I’m simply evaluating three different prospects in three different rounds that Tampa Bay could be interested in, with the hopes of having eventually covered the three players they will eventually draft. The three players I’ll break down below aren’t meant to be viewed as a three-round mock.Today’s first-round pick forces us to face a scenario where four tackles are likely off the board, resulting in a quandary for the Bucs. If they choose to select my fifth-ranked offensive tackle, here’s what they’d be getting at No.… Read more »

twspin
1 year ago

Please somebody tell me who steps in when Brady goes down..I’ll wait…until it happens and tell you all., Geez..How come nobody wanted to address this in all of the adulation of obtaining Brady? Bucs truly are rollin some..Loaded dice here. Good Luck fellow Pirates.

Dave
Reply to  twspin
1 year ago

You’re like a broken record with this Brady won’t make it through the year crap. Even though nothing in his 20 year career suggests that he’s an injury waiting to happen. Nobody we can draft is gonna step in and take this team to the SB if there was an injury. Since you’re the leader of the Brady has no chance to make it through the season camp, who should we be getting as his backup? This i’d love to hear

Bucsfan1983
1 year ago

I would love it, if the Bucs grabbed QB James Morgan, with one of those 4th round picks.

SaskBucs
1 year ago

Enjoying all the prospect write ups Jon, thanks! I understand this isn’t a mock but it would still be a disaster even though I don’t mind the look of Jones just don’t think it’s worth pick 14 and the question of him at RT does make it a tough projection. Those Eason highlights looked like Winston highlights. No thank you! I understand the people saying we need to get a successor for Brady but not this year. Possibly next year or spend our 6th this year and take a chance but if Brady goes down the Bucs are in trouble… Read more »

fredster
1 year ago

They went all in on Brady thinking can win a super bowl this year and or next year and dumped 25 year old Winston so no it’s not time to find the QB of the future. Duh!

jrwilson85
1 year ago

I’ll take that draft hands down. I think Jones is undervalued. He gave USF hell. Swift is the top back on a lot of boards and Eason has a gun for an arm. He would be under no pressure to lead the team as a rookie and could learn from the GOAT. If the Bucs like Eason, they have to like his head as much as his physical ability. They have to think he can learn their system and execute. Do you think the Bucs could trade down a little in the 1st and still get Jones?

KingTampa007
1 year ago

Please let us not take Jacob Eason. If you’re going to have someone mentored by Brady it should be Anthony Gordon. Take him in the 4th. Also no to Jones at 14. You don’t reach for a Right Tackle at 14 because of the perceived need. Take Chassion at 14. Take a right tackle in second round. If all else fails take The monster Guard Simpson (Clemson) In the 3rd and move Cappa to RT. No to swift. To similar to ROJO. Take Gibson out or Memphis. He’s what Brady needs

owlykat
1 year ago

Thanks for showing why we should never take Eason. It would be a disaster! There are better late QB choices. Swift looked good behind Georgia’s 5 star OL but he would not get those results behind our average at best OL. We need Dillon who can make his own holes as he runs, can be a true third down back who can also block to protect Brady and get short yardage first downs, our bugaboo last year, and present a run threat behind Vea in the red zone! You are one of the best analysts working for PR and I… Read more »

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