Much has been made of the Cincinnati Bengals’ right tackle situation heading into the NFL Draft this week. With Jonah Williams seemingly uninterested in making the switch and last season’s starter, La’el Collins recovering from a devastating knee injury, the idea of the Bengals selecting a right tackle early in the draft makes sense.
At this point, all we have to go off of is mock drafts, which we know are rarely completely accurate, but the thought is that one of the top-tier tackles won’t be on the board when pick 28 comes up Thursday night.
One tackle that was in that conversation is Ohio State’s Dawand Jones. Jones has met with the Bengals and plays a position of need, so early in the draft process, it seemed like there could be a fit at the end of the first round.
A lot has changed since then.
Bob McGinn released some quotes that he has heard from evaluators around the league, and it wasn’t great for Jones or his draft stock:
“After the first day of the Senior Bowl, when he was the talk of the town, he completely f---ed this whole thing up,” one evaluator told McGinn. “He had one good day of practice and then basically shut himself down. He’s killed himself in the process.”
McGinn also ran a survey of 16 scouts, asking who the most likely offensive lineman to bust would be. Jones received seven votes, leading all offensive linemen.
Jones only ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and reportedly showed up to his Pro Day at 370 pounds, which also was a cause for concern around league circles.
If this is accurate, the Bengals could take a risk on Jones at pick 60 or even 92, depending on how others in the league feel about him.
As we’ve seen in the past, the draft brings chaos. A tackle such as Darnell Wright could fall to Cincinnati at 28, or they could still trade the disgruntled Williams if the right deal happens. Packaging Williams and picks to the right team could allow Duke Tobin and co. to trade up for what they believe is the bookend right tackle to match new left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.
Then again, this could be all pre-draft smoke. We will start to find out in four short days.