2. Dawand Jones, offensive tackles
Fans of the NFL Draft got a really great matchup between Cleveland Browns rookie Dawand Jones -- one of the top-rated tackles in the class -- and Philadelphia Eagles rookie pass rusher Nolan Smith on Thursday night.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com pegged Jones as a round 1-2 prospect before the 2023 NFL Draft and had this to say about him in his scouting report:
"Massive right tackle with rare length but limited athleticism that impacts his consistency. Defenders accustomed to winning with power will need to switch up their approach against Jones. His physical traits help cover up some of his athletic deficiencies, while his power can be better unleashed with accurate hand strikes and a run scheme tailored to what he does best. The former high school basketball standout has decent slide quickness in protection but is unable to find his feet when attempting to match inside counters or stall out gaming fronts. Jones is a work in progress with holes that will have to be covered up with scheme help, but he should become a starting right tackle if he maintains the playing weight his team desires."- Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
It's rare to see an offensive tackle get so much publicity in the preseason unless it's for negative reasons. Oftentimes, you're hearing about offensive tackles in the preseason if they are struggling, but not with Jones. He's pushing for a starting role sooner rather than later and although anything dramatic feels unlikely, would the Browns consider moving someone like Jack Conklin? Financially, that just doesn't really add up, but you never know.
At any rate, Jones is good enough to perhaps get looks at left tackle at some point if Jedrick Wills struggles. Whatever the Browns decide to do here, I think there's no question that Jones has proven to be one of the team's most impressive players this training camp/preseason, and he's proving he might be worth making a drastic kind of move to get on the field.
At this point, it's all a question of timing. The Browns can be patient with him in his rookie season unless they determine they simply can't live without him in the starting lineup. It's a great luxury for this team to have.