Why the Slide?: Dawand Jones, OT, Ohio State

Our “Why the Slide” series parallels and grew out our “Why Undrafted” series. The latter was created a number of years ago in response to your questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For both series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

During the spring of 2023, there were some draft analysts on ESPN who were projecting Ohio State right tackle Dawand Jones to be a first-round pick. The massive Jones was unable to miss as the right tackle protecting quarterback C.J. Stroud. However, the projections of Jones as a first-rounder proved to be foolish given that he slid to the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Team sources told WalterFootball.com there were a variety of reasons that caused Jones to slide. Numerous team sources said that off-the-field concerns and his football character were huge detriments. “Silly kid with no work ethic; doesn’t love football, terminally lazy, immature, and family issues,” said one AFC director of player personnel. Four other team sources referred to similar character issues, independently. Multiple sources stated Jones had the reputation of not loving football and bore some medical concerns. Part of that is weight related, as sources said that Jones’ weight can balloon, which is a reflection of the lack of work ethic.

The Cleveland Browns ended Jones fall in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and the team is a decent landing spot. On the positive side, Jones should not be expected to play right away give that Cleveland has solid veterans in Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin. On the downside, Jones may not have the personality to handle being on the bench and working hard to improve when he is not getting playing time. Wills will probably be with the Browns for many years to come, but Jones could work himself into being Conklin’s replacement in a year or two, provided Jones takes his career seriously. He has some physical talent, so the upside is there for him to have a pro career. However, Jones must immediately mature, start working hard, and embrace the sport, or else he probably won’t last long in the NFL.

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