As the regular season approaches, we wanted to take an individual look at each of the Denver Broncos 2017 Draft Choices and how they’ve performed in camp.
With the 183rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Arizona State guard Sam Jones. How has Jones performed in preseason and camp?
Jones is listed behind stalwart Matt Paradis at center on the Broncos depth chart. If anything has plagued Denver more over the last two seasons than offensive line depth, I don’t know what it is. This season is setting up to be more-of-the-same as the starting front five look to be prolific. Beyond that, with the release of veteran Menelik Watson, Denver is young and thin up front.
The starting five consists of:
Matt Paradis, C
Ron Leary, LG
Connor McGovern, RG
Jared Veldheer, RT
Garrett Bolles, LT
After that, only Max Garcia has any real game experience. Denver offensive linemen get hurt at an alarming rate and while Denver has improved greatly at the top, they are still in need of backup players that can rise to the occasion.
This is the world that Sam Jones, a Denver native enters. He is smart and technically sound but he won’t be able to mask strength and speed weakness with smarts in the NFL. If, as he does, Paradis stays healthy for the season, Jones will have a fantastic mentor and example to emulate as he works on building strength.
If Sam can mold his physicality to match his mean streak, intensity and intellect, he has a chance to be a fixture on the Denver line. If, as we’ve seen play out before, he’s thrust into action before he’s ready, it could demoralize the young man and delay his development, possibly indefinitely. It’s a fickle league, but Jones has the integrity to navigate this most difficult of positions.