Teams Expect Barrett Jones to Start on PUP
Published March 24, 2013
By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
Alabama center Barrett Jones received a lot of attention the past few seasons. He has been a regular All-American at guard, left tackle and center while winning the Outland Trophy in 2011 and Rimington Trophy in 2012. He helped pave the way for a rushing offense that won three national championships in four years. He is one of the most decorated and accomplished offensive linemen in the history of college football.
At the end of the season, however, Jones sustained a lisfranc injury against Georgia in the SEC Championship. He finished that outing and played with it versus Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship. The injury prevented Jones from playing at the Senior Bowl and participating in the NFL Scouting Combine. Many in the NFL regard Jones' malady as more complex to come back from than a simple break.
Scouts told WalterFootball.com that their teams believe Jones won't be ready for the start of training camp and will probably start out his NFL career on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list. Being injured and unable to work out for scouts has definitely hurt Jones' draft stock according to scouts.
Sources believe that the uncertainty about when Jones will be able to take the field is hurting teams' comfort with drafting him. Scouts said they believe that he could make it into the third round, but could easily be a fourth-round pick.
Working in Jones' favor is his tremendous versatility to play four or all five of the positions on the offensive line. His best long-term starting position is center or guard. Scouts said that his lack of strength and athleticism point toward him being a third-day pick, but his great intangibles and versatility will also push him higher and cause coaches to lobby for him. Even if he misses the preseason and can't start immediately when healthy, Jones should be a valuable backup on game days.
While Jones may end up being a mid-round pick, he could be one of those mid-rounders who goes on to a long, productive NFL career with his injured start being a minor bump in the road.