After that, some combination of concern for QB Deshaun Watson’s performance and the season-ending injury to RT Jack Conklin are important but celebrating a complete and total victory over an AFC North rival is first.
If the Browns are going to make it to where they want to be (AFC Championship game at a minimum) Watson is going to have to figure it out. In regards to replacing Conklin, it is nice for Cleveland fans that they were already hyped about OT Dawand Jones.
Jones looked very good in the preseason after being selected in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL draft. A huge player, Jones slimmed down and showed surprisingly good feet for a man his size.
While I wondered on Twitter whether James Hudson III could get the start in Week 2, HC Kevin Stefanski named Jones the starter less than an hour later.
Brian Baldinger, who always does a great job breaking down the film, had a lot of praise to heap onto “Thanos” from Week 1:
There is a lot to like from Jones in the above clips but Pro Football Focus had a different grade for the Cleveland right tackle. As seen below, Jones was very good as a pass blocker (77.8) but a terrible run blocker (38.4) leading to a bad overall grade (49.7).
PFF doesn’t finalize their grades right away so we could see some changes to Jones’ but they weren’t the only ones to point out some concerns. Like Baldinger, we have video evidence that backs up PFF’s poor run-blocking grade for Jones:
When Dawand Jones goes the right way and knows his assignment.. It looked pretty good!— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) September 11, 2023
Some rollercoaster plays in there though lol whoops
Wrong way and a missed trap climb. Both plays end up in complete disaster lol
He had some highlights! Just having fun with the youngin' pic.twitter.com/vuLvulfppQ
The good news for the Browns is that Jones is young, shown obvious improvement throughout the offseason and is a good pass protector. The bad news is that a few historically stout defenses are on the schedule the next four weeks:
- Pittsburgh Steelers - Week 2
- Tennessee Titans - Week 3
- Baltimore Ravens - Week 4
- San Francisco 49ers - Week 6
A baptism by fire that started when he stepped in against Sam Hubbard in Week 1 continues for the next few weeks. Having legendary offensive line coach Bill Callahan in his ear has to help but Jones will have to prove it on the field starting with the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
What do you think about the different videos and opinions about Jones? Join the comment section below, which side are you on?