3 things to know about Chicago Bears rookie Braxton Jones
The Chicago Bears spent their first pick on day three of the 2022 NFL draft on Braxton Jones. Jones is a tackle prospect from Southern Utah who was under-recruited from high school but managed to make his way into the NFL.
What are some of the important factors that went into the Chicago Bears drafting Braxton Jones?
3. Braxton Jones Snaps and alignment
Braxton Jones has a basketball background and was relatively new to football because of it. That is what caused him to slip into the college recruit rankings, and saw him going to Southern Utah.
Still, he was able to get experience at Southern Utah. He played two games as a redshirt freshman, but then finished his career with 29 starts, He started 28 games at left tackle, and once at right tackle, although that was back in his redshirt freshman season.
In that span, Braxton Jones took 921 pass protection reps compared to 588 run-blocking snaps. According to PFF, Southern Utah ran a lot of RPOs, so only 50% of his pass protection snaps were true pass protection reps. The rest were snaps where he was showing run, or where there was a screen.
That is another thing that likely made him tougher for scouts to evaluate, pushing him to this range.
PFF also noted that he was a zone blocker on 60% of his run blocking snaps, and those primarily came as an outside zone blocker, although he does have experience running inside zone.
The zone blocking aspect surely adds to why the Chicago Bears were interested in him as this is where they look to transition the offense to.