PFF lists Cardinals’ Josh Jones as breakout candidate for 2023
Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Josh Jones was a bright spot for the Cardinals in the back half of the team’s rather disappointing 2022 season, and according to Pro Football Focus lead NFL analyst Sam Monson, he is a potential breakout candidate for the 2023 season.
Jones played 100% of offensive snaps from Week 10 to Week 16, and only allowed four sacks — two came in Week 18 versus Nick Bosa and the 49ers — and 25 total pressures in the final eight games of the season. From Week 1 to Week 9, Jones had only played 100% of offensive snaps once in 2022 versus the Minnesota Vikings and played in 12% or less snaps every other game.
From Week 10 through the end of last season, the Cardinals’ 2020 third-round pick solidified himself as the starting left tackle after D.J. Humphries was shut down for the season due to back issues.
Although the Houston product was an offensive tackle all four years of college, he switched to a guard in 2021 to get more playing time. It was a tough go for Jones to play out of position, and he didn’t get the opportunity to play consistent snaps at his natural position until almost three years into his career.
“I played that all in college … and I’ve been trying to go through this little transitional phase trying to figure it out,” Jones said in December to reporters. “So being back at left tackle, I just feel comfortable. I feel like I’m playing like it.
“Everything’s slowing down for me now being back over there. I feel like I can be more aggressive over there. It just feels like home over there.”
PFF ranked the Cardinals’ offensive line 24th to end the season and the unit racked up 44 penalties, tied for most in the NFL.
Jones ended the season with a 74.0 PFF run-blocking grade, putting him in the top-25 for offensive tackles.
Humphries is signed through 2025 and will probably be back at the start of next season. With right tackle Kelvin Beachum a free agent, it’s possible Jones will switch over to the right side and make his mark there as Humphries retakes his role on the left.
With a half-season of reps at left tackle, a full offseason and a full 2023 season ahead of him, the breakout potential is there.