Cardinals get OL depth, versatility with OT Christian Jones

Texas now has seven players off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft, with OT Christian Jones going to the Cardinals in the fifth round.
Christian Jones, Texas football
Christian Jones, Texas football / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Texas football now has the most players selected in the NFL Draft since 2007 with redshirt senior offensive tackle Christian Jones getting picked in the fifth round by the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals picked Jones 162nd overall in the fifth round of the draft on Day 3.

Texas football OT Christian Jones selected in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals

Jones is the first Texas offensive lineman to be selected in the NFL Draft since 2021 when the Washington Commanders selected Samuel Cosmi.

The 6-foot-5 and 305-pound offensive tackle Jones started four-dozen games and played in 61 over six seasons at Texas. He received All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors from the league's coaches in his last two years in college.

Jones brings an excellent wingspan, good agility, and versatility to play multiple spots along the offensive line for the Cardinals. He can add depth by playing both tackle positions for the Cardinals. Jones has the agility, length, and good hand usage to play at both tackle spots at the next level.

The strength of Jones's game in college was his run blocking. He excelled at setting the edge at right tackle for multiple NFL-caliber Texas running backs in the last few years, including Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson, and Jonathon Brooks.

Jones was top three in the Big 12 among offensive tackles in run blocking grade in 2023.

In the last two years, Jones has potentially been the most improved pass blocker among Kyle Flood's starting group of offensive linemen. Jones has better utilized his length and hand size to his advantage to hold his ground, especially against smaller defensive ends and edge rushers in pass pro.

Jones was a consistent presence for the Longhorns, playing alongside one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the Power Five in Kelvin Banks Jr. in the last two years. Banks and Jones tied for second in pass blocking efficiency among Big 12 offensive tackles last season.

The biggest concern for Jones at the next level is his ability to win blocking matchups against some of the more athletic edge rushers and defensive ends. Jones's scouting report points out that he "lacks footwork and foot quickness" against the more athletic and quick players coming off the edge rushing the passer.

All in all, the Cardinals are getting good value with Jones. He brings versatility and length that is hard to find among bigger offensive linemen in the later rounds of the draft with multiple years of proven experience on film in pass pro and run blocking.

Jones is the second Texas player picked on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft. The Carolina Panthers selected their second Texas Ex in the first four rounds with the first pick of Day 3, Longhorns junior tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders.

In total, five Longhorns players were selected on the first two days of the 2024 draft.

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