NFL Draft 2013: The Barrett Jones Experience
When you think about people who are, I guess, OK at their job, you think of Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones.
I mean, all he did was help the Tide get to three national title games and win them, and did so starting at three different offensive lineman positions.
Jones is the only man ever to do this. One of those positions happened to be the vaunted 'center' spot, where he's responsible for assessing the defensive formation and calling the blocking assignments. Considered by many to be the best lineman prospect in almost a decade, Jones trumps the likes of a Dwight Howard or Shaqille O'Neal for sheer versatility in his college career..
Wait. Wrong sport.
In doing a bit of this and a bit of that along the o-line, Jones also collected a few All-American honors here and there. Not bad. Oh yeah, he picked up some cool trophies, too, with titles on them like Outland, Rimington, and Wuerffel. You can spell 'overachiever' with an O and an R, but without a W, so I guess in the SEC where Steve Spurrier gives spelling lessons every now and then, that must make Jones a 'woverachiever.'
See? He's so good, he's the source of a new word.
Dude also did some community service ... take that, Chris Brown!
Wait! Wait just one second. Jones did it voluntarily? You can do that?
Probably the best example of this guy overachieving would be that he held a 4.0 GPA all throughout college, graduating in 2011 with a degree in Accounting. Then, going back, he got his Master's degree, again keeping his grades at a perfect 4.0.
Paging future Dr.Jones ...
Truth be told, Alabama's version of a socially accepted Rainman is the best chance the Tide has ever had of producing a Number One overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Jones is easily Top Five. Setting aside all of his smarts, he's not that bad of a football player. Making college football history a few times will confirm that assessment. Adding in his smarts -- and versitility -- you basically have a 10-year starter for your team, someone who can switch things up when asked. Easily, this man will be in a Hall of Fame someday.
And no, not Alabama's BBQ eaters Hall of Fame. Although, Jones and I both know Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa is worth the stomach ache.
He's a football star who's worth the barrelful of money an NFL team would invest in him. Most people don't consider o-linemen for top overall picks anymore. But to me, Jones is clearly the best overall player in the draft. Screw skill position players!
Some may point out his Dudley Boys moment in the National Championship game this past year with friend and roommate AJ McCarron. But, an isolated incident like this is, especially with a close friend, not a big deal. Especially when one knowings both are perfectionists and do all they can to bring out the best in their team. After that game, both were cool and seen hugging. So I doubt scouts are making a fuss over it.
Right now, the Kansas City Chiefs have the top overall pick and, by all they hold holy, do they need o-linemen! So, I'm confident the thought will at least occur to them to grab Jones. Alex Smith and anyone else who appreciates Smith's body remaining in one piece would be holding the pom pons for that move.
If the Chiefs pass, that leaves it to the Jaguars with the second pick. If they get the chance to draft Jones, they should put the Chiefs on their Christmas greetings list.
Don't hold your breath, but come NFL Draft time, expect one of the first three teams -- the Saints are sitting in third position -- to select to call Jones's name.
Forget what 'experts' not on NFL payrolls might say, a solid résumé and all that Jones has brought on the field counts far more than a Wonderlic or Combine number. I mean, seriously, who wants a Wonderlic in their hair when they could have a future Hall of Famer in their offensive line?