April 28, 2012

Marcel Jones, offensive tackle, Nebraska

Marcel Jones, offensive tackle, Nebraska
234rd overall selection, 27th pick in the 7th round
6'6", 320, 5.66 40

The Saints wrapped up their draft class by further bolstering their offensive line depth. Towering Marcel Jones started at right tackle over a span of three years for the Cornhuskers.  Missed his junior season of high school with injury, missed three games with an ankle injury in 2009, missed most of 2010 with a sciatic nerve problem, and missed four games of last season with a shin problem.  Never made it through a full season as a starter because of injury problems each year.

Had a poor combine showing even for an enormous offensive tackle, slower than Andrew Tiller in every major category and even worse at the 225-pound bench press - with only 13 lifts.  The top number for offensive linemen this year was 45.  Jones' performance was the lowest at the combine, meaning that the Saints drafted the two poorest performing offensive linemen at the combine.

Jones is a physical phenom - with enormous 33 5/8" arms and good bend.  Plays low with a good, strong base but lets that slip.  Poor hand use will be taught.  Good character but doesn't have a killer instinct and toughness must be questioned.  Has all the tools needed to succeed if his health holds up and he listens to coaching.  Had a good amount of success when healthy, and had notable film against Texas A&M LB Von Miller.  A strong run blocker and a surprising pass blocker, Jones has good body control and with his massive arms, can reroute around the pocket with ease.

Give the Saints the benefit of the doubt - Jahri Evans, Jermon Bushrod, Carl Nicks, Zach Strief are all enormous, big-potential picks that looked excellent after a few seasons in the Saints' program.

Jones will compete with Charles Brown, Phil Trautwein and Fenuki Tupou on the depth chart at offensive tackle.

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