We continue on with our in-depth look at each of the Green Bay Packers’ 14 UDFA signings–and up next, is offensive tackle Caleb Jones from Indiana.
Within these articles, I’ve been taking a closer look at the positional outlook at each of the player’s respective positions, what you need to know about their college careers, and at the end, what the pre-draft scouting report has to say about their game.
The current state of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive tackle position
Prior to the draft taking place, the offensive tackle depth was a major concern. With not knowing when Elgton Jenkins is going to be back on the field, the only healthy options at the position were David Bakhtiari, Cole Van Lanen, and Yosh Nijman.
However, now that has all changed. While we still have to see how things play out, both Matt LaFleur and GM Brian Gutekunst would tell reporters following the draft that they believe third-round pick Sean Rhyan can play tackle in the NFL. Gutey would also say the same about fourth-round pick Zach Tom. In addition to Rhyan and Tom, Green Bay would select Rasheed Walker in Round 7, who is more of a developmental player but someone who still bolsters the depth at a key position.
If the Green Bay Packers choose to keep nine offensive linemen as they did a season ago, then many of those roster spots are already accounted for by Bakhtiari, Nijman, Tom, Rhyan, Josh Myers, Royce Newman, and Jon Runyan. This leaves at most two roster spots available if Jenkins begins the year on the PUP list but potentially just one if he does not.
The remaining offensive tackles competing for that roster spot or two will be Van Lanen, Walker, and Jones. As a UDFA, Jones’ ceiling in his first year may be the practice squad.
What to know about Jones’ college career at Indiana
Even among other offensive tackles, Caleb Jones stands–measuring in at nearly 6’9″ and weighing 370 pounds.
Jones played just shy of 2,000 offensive snaps at Indiana with 30 career starts over his final three seasons while appearing in 41 games overall. He spent most of his time at right tackle, but also has 559 snaps as a left tackle as well, according to PFF ($$). It’s also worth noting that Jones has 146 career special teams snaps, all of which came on the field goal kicking team.
During his final season with the Hoosiers, Jones allowed seven sacks and 32 pressures, both of which were the most of his career. Over his three-year span as a starter, he allowed 14 total sacks and 63 pressures.
For what it’s worth, for the most part, Jones graded out better during his career as a run-blocker by PFF’s metrics. He also comes from a zone-heavy blocking scheme, which is what the Green Bay Packers utilize under LaFleur.
From an athletic standpoint, and in addition to his size, Jones posted a RAS of 1.90 which included a 5.6-second 40-time.
What the pre-draft scouting report says
Tony Pauline – Pro Football Network
"“Positives: Massive, heavy-footed tackle who is best in a small area,” said Pauline. “Strong, jolts defenders with an explosive hand punch, and controls them once engaged at the point. Has long arms and steers defenders from their angles of attack. Explosive. Keeps his feet moving and stays patient in pass protection.Negatives: Cannot adjust and gets exploited by quick or nimble pass rushers. Not a natural knee bender. Lacks footwork and balance in pass protection.Analysis: Jones is a size prospect with a massive frame as well as long arms. He possesses a lot of limitations, but he could develop into a backup at right tackle if he learns to block with proper fundamentals.”"