Cardinals got Josh Jones much later than mock drafts predicted
It’s probably fair to say that each of the Arizona Cardinals’ first two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft were “steals.”
Time will tell whether their NFL productivity lives up to the hype, but Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Houston tackle Josh Jones went eighth overall and 72nd overall to the Cardinals, respectively. Both of those were later than many mock drafts had those players going.
Jones, who gives a boost to an offensive line tasked with protecting quarterback Kyler Murray in a pass-happy offense, was even mocked to go eighth overall to the Cardinals. Instead, he slid down in the draft all the way until the third round (Arizona didn’t have a second-round pick), for Arizona to get one of the draft’s top tackles.
Arizona GM Steve Keim was already getting praise on Thursday night after drafting Simmons, when his offseason has already seen the signings of needed starters on defense and a trade for elite wideout DeAndre Hopkins. Then, on Friday, Arizona adds a top player at a position of need.
Here’s where some of the mock drafts over the past month had Jones going (spoiler: not 72nd overall):
Ben Raven, MLive.com: 8th overall to Arizona
“He was a four-year starter in a pass-heavy offense while rating as PFF’s highest-graded non-major conference tackle of all time.”
Charles Davis, NFL.com: 29th overall to Tennessee
“A promising talent who really emerged at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.”
Jeff Kerr, CBSSports.com: 27th overall to Seattle
“Jones needs to polish on his footwork and needs to improve in pass protection. The Seahawks can’t pass up his potential, especially if they can develop Jones as Brown’s successor at left tackle.”
Dan Kadar, SBNation: 26th overall to Miami
“This OT crop is extremely top heavy, but there are six or seven who could be selected in the first round. That’s good news for the Dolphins, who could potentially land a starter with their third first-round pick.”
Peter Schrager, NFL.com: 18th overall to Miami
“Adding Jones — a 6-7, 320-pounder, who logged four seasons as Houston’s starting left tackle — would be perfect. He’s been a late-in-the-process riser who could end up coming off the board within the top 15 picks.”
Cris Collinsworth, Pro Football Focus: 20th overall to Jacksonville
“Jones doesn’t have the athleticism of some of the other tackles drafted ahead of him here, but he loves football and has shown his athleticism pulling and keeping a strong base underneath him while staying on blocks for longer than most.”