Why the Slide?: Christian Jones, OT, Texas

This series was created a number of years ago in response to questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For these articles, 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.

At the Senior Bowl and in the final months before the 2024 NFL Draft, there was some media buzz about Texas offensive tackle Christian Jones being a potential second-day pick. Jones was a steady blocker, helping Texas advance to the college football playoff. At 6-foot-5, 305 pounds, he has functional size and length for the next level. Jones started 48 games in his college career, so he was also entering the league with a lot of experience. Thus, some were surprised when he slid to the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Team sources told WalterFootball.com Jones slid because of some skill-set limitations that caused teams to feel he may not have a natural position in the NFL. They said the belief was that Jones had a problematic level of stiffness to play tackle in the NFL, plus lacked the feet that teams want in an edge protector. They also had concerns about his ability to bend and anchor if he was moved inside to guard. Those issues combined to cause Jones to slide in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Arizona Cardinals ended Jones’ slide, and that was a challenging landing spot for him. The Cardinals drafted Paris Johnson Jr. with the sixth-overall pick last year, signed Jonah Williams in free agency, and drafted Illinois offensive tackle Isaiah Adams in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Arizona also has veterans Kelvin Beachum and Dennis Daley on the roster, who Jones will have to beat out. The Cardinals have less depth inside at guard, so that could be a better hope for Jones to win a roster spot. He could be a candidate to develop on the practice squad to see if he can find a position for the NFL and overcome his skill-set limitations.


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