Browns giving Dawand Jones snaps at left tackle
By Randy Gurzi
In the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns landed Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones. Expected to go much higher, there were some concerns that other NFL general managers had about Jones.
One of those involved his weight. Jones, who came into the Scouting Combine at 6-foot-8 and 374 pounds was rumored to have put on weight following the event. When a player is this large, it's fair to worry about what their weight can do to their joints as well as their knees. But if he can keep the weight under control, he can be a steal.
As for the other concern, this one felt like a reach. Rumor had it that GMs were concerned that Jones wanted to play in the NBA rather than the NFL, so they questioned his desire. Jones addressed that this weekend at Cleveland's rookie minicamp — and hopefully put the ludicrous claims to bed. He also pointed out that the Browns will be working him at left tackle.
Dawand Jones could be a future starter for the Browns — on either side
During his days at Ohio State, Jones played right tackle. When Cleveland added him, there was speculation that he could eventually replace Jack Conklin on that side. Conklin, who just signed a three-year extension, will be 31 when his deal is up and Jones could be an affordable replacement.
However, there's also a chance he could work on the left side permanently. As of now, Jedrick Wills has that job after he made the transition from the right side to the left when he was drafted in 2020.
Wills, who recently had his fifth-year option picked up, isn't guaranteed anything beyond 2024. And while he hasn't necessarily been a bust, he also hasn't truly lived up to the status as the No. 10 overall pick.
In the end, Jones might only learn the position to serve as a swing tackle. But if it helps push Wills, even slightly, that's an added benefit this coaching staff will gladly take.