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Patriots draft targets 2023: Broderick Jones has all the tools to become a franchise left tackle

The 21-year-old is a realistic candidate in the first round.

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Vanderbilt v Georgia Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images

Coming off a rather disappointing 8-9 season, the New England Patriots have plenty of potential for improvement. They already addressed some areas of need so far this offseason, but will now look to add long-term stability and additional playmaking ability through the NFL Draft. With 11 selections in hand, Bill Belichick and company are in a good position to do just that.

How they will ultimately use those picks remains to be seen. However, there are several players who would fit what they are looking for both at positions of need and at other spots all over the roster.

In our Patriots Draft Targets series, we will be taking a close look at some prospects we believe might be falling into that “fit” category. Today, let’s assess a projected first-round offensive tackle.

Hard facts

Name: Broderick Jones

Position: Offensive tackle

School: Georgia

Opening day age: 22

Size: 6’5 3/8”, 311 lbs, 82 3/4” wing span, 34 3/4” arm length, 10 5/8” hand size

Workout numbers: 4.97 40-yard dash, 30” vertical jump, 108” broad jump, 9.58 Relative Athletic Score


A two-way player during his high school career in his hometown of Lithonia, Georgia, Jones was one of the top offensive tackle options in the 2020 recruiting class. The five-star recruit received interest from several schools, but ultimately decided to stick with his initial commitment and join the University of Georgia. He appeared in two games during what eventually was a redshirt campaign as a freshman, but saw increased action in his sophomore season.

He served as the Bulldogs’ backup left tackle that year and started four games in place of starter Jamaree Salyer. When Salyer turned pro last spring, Jones took over as Georgia’s left tackle of choice and did not look back. He went on to start all 15 of the team’s games in 2022, was named a first-team All-SEC selection, and did not give up any sacks for the national champions. All in all, he ended his college career with 32 in-game appearances and 19 starts — all at left tackle.

Draft profile

Expected round: 1st (Top 25)

Strengths: Jones might not offer prototypical size at 6-foot-5 and 311 pounds, but he has all the tools to become a stalwart tackle at the next level. It all starts with his intriguing athleticism: he combines smooth and efficient movement with raw power to drive defenders off the ball. This is evident in the running game, where he has the quickness and agility to be a factor on zone-blocking plays and the range and lower-body strength to finish second-level blocks. That said, he also has the scheme-flexibility to clear gaps and execute his assignments in man-blocking.

Jones also has proven himself a good pass protector, who held his ground against some of the top talent in the country in the SEC. His movement skills and power allow him to stand firm when attacked inside his frame; driving him back is a tall task for any pass rusher. He also can mirror pass rushers when they attack wide, and gets a fluid bounce when kicking back out of his stance — forcing defenders to run the loop. Despite a comparative lack of experience, he also has shown sufficient reactionary skills against defensive games.

Weaknesses: Jones’ size is not a “wow” factor; his height and weight are in the 45 and 42 percentile, respectively, for offensive tackle prospects. His inexperience also breaks through at times, especially from a technical perspective. He shows some variance in his upper body alignment, which in turn leads to a bending-downward against edge rushers and general instability that extends through his base. Jones additionally needs to get more consistent with his initial punches; he oftentimes is too aggressive and simply misses his mark, exposing himself to counterattacks.

He also has not played a whole lot of football, and might take some time to develop into the player that he can become. Per Pro Football Focus, Jones has played only 203 true pass sets during his three-year college career. On top of it all, he offers little from a versatility perspective: Jones projects as a left tackle only.

Patriots fit

What would be his role in 2023? Jones could become the Patriots’ starting left tackle out of the gate, but it seems more likely that he would be given the Nate Solder and Isaiah Wynn treatment: get some time to work on his technique and truly become ready to properly protect quarterback Mac Jones’ blindside. Accordingly, he would spend 2023 as a reserve option behind projected starter Trent Brown; he would be active on game days as a possible OT4 — behind Brown, the right-side starter, and a swing tackle — but probably only see playing time in select packages as a sixth lineman or in late-game settings.

What is his growth potential? In one word: immense. Jones has what it takes to become a starting left tackle and even a possible Pro Bowler. If indeed being given a de facto redshirt rookie year, the expectation would be for him to take over as the starting left tackle in 2024 and continue holding down the fort through at least the duration of his rookie contract.

Does he have positional versatility? Based on his college usage, the answer would be no. However, the Patriots would likely not shy away from training him at both left and right tackle in 2023 — something they also did with the two former first-round offensive tackles mentioned above, Solder and Wynn. However, the plan would be for Jones to become the starting left tackle at one point further down the line. In addition, he would see action as a protector on field goal and extra point attempts.

What adding him would mean for the depth chart: At the moment, it appears the Patriots’ offensive tackle depth chart consists of three (near-)roster locks: Trent Brown, Riley Reiff and Calvin Anderson. Adding Jones to the mix would not change much, unless New England’s coaches feel confident in his ability to start right away. Regardless, him coming aboard would be bad news for the depth OTs currently under contract and push Yodny Cajuste, Conor McDermott and Andrew Stueber further down the pecking order.

Why the Patriots make sense as a landing spot: New England’s offensive tackle position is in a state of transition at the moment, and adding some long-term stability and developmental upside to the equation looks like a top priority heading into the draft. While his lack of experience might be an issue for the team, there is no denying Jones’ talent and high ceiling.

Patriots contact: Scouting Combine meeting + Top-30 visit

Verdict: Jones might not check every box the Patriots are looking for, but he would make plenty of sense in the middle of the first round (or possibly even after a minor trade-down) — hence why he is Pats Pulpit’s pick in the SB Nation Community Mock Draft. He is one of the best offensive tackles in the class, and should only get better with more experience. Yes, he might not be a Day 1 starter, but adding him to the mix would make New England’s offensive line as a whole a better one both in the short and in particular the long term.

Would Jones be a good fit for the Patriots? Where do you think he will be drafted? Please head down to the comment section to discuss!