The Saints went with offensive line depth again with their final pick and took mammoth tackle Marcel Jones of Nebraska. At 6’6″, 320lbs, there’s no denying Jones has impressive size. I’m honestly a little disappointed in this pick, even though tackle depth was a need, because the Saints had CB Minnifield and DE Cam Johnson as possible players that represented huge value. I would have like to have seen the Saints go defense here, but perhaps they can also get good prospects through rookie free agency. Don’t forget, the Saints starting right tackle Zach Strief is a guy they drafted in the 7th round, so hopefully Jones will see similar luck.
Here is his write up on NFL.com:
Overview: “Jones is one of the top offensive tackles in the class after starting for two years on some highly productive Nebraska offensive lines. He has the size and footwork to compete for a job at left tackle at the next level, and such prospects often have second- or third-round value. Jones is no different, and he has the talent to start early in his NFL career. Look for him to make a move to the right side, though, as he is less reliable powering off his right foot and isn’t quite at the level to start immediately protecting on the left side.”
Strengths: “Jones is a polished run blocker from his time spent in the Nebraska offense, but he is an accomplished pass protector as well. He has size to block any defensive end in the NFL and a pass set and anchor to stop a bull rush. He is athletic enough to recover against pro defensive ends and would be a physically imposing player on any offensive line. He likely will need to begin his NFL career on the right side as he develops the flexibility and reliability to be a blindside blocker.”
Weaknesses: “Jones can struggle at times in space, as he is a big man and can take a few steps to get going. He is reliable at sustaining blocks once there but can struggle to throttle down and set on linebackers.”
I think this is actually a solid value pick overall, even though it wasn’t my first choice, as Jones is a reliable prospect that could make an impact early in his career.
Welcome to the Saints Marcel!