When listening to Braxton Jones talk, it becomes evident immediately that the young man is intelligent. He’s well-spoken and understands the intricacies of football well. Something that isn’t always the case with football players his age. This is likely a big reason why he was able to earn starter reps at left tackle by the start of mandatory minicamps in June. Now the goal for him is obvious. Keep that job through training camp.
Most of that depends on how he performs in practice. He’ll have to hold his own in pass protection against Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson, Al-Quadin Muhammad, and others. Not an easy task for a 5th round pick. However, he also understands winning a starting job on offense is a political game. Nothing can help a young player gain one faster than getting on the good side of his quarterback. According to Mark Carman of Fansided on his Da Windy City podcast, Jones is already making bold statements about Justin Fields on Instagram.
Braxton Jones can’t be accused of immaturity.
His connection to his quarterback in such a manner already speaks to a growing bond. Fields isn’t going to make the final decision on whether the rookie starts at left tackle. That belongs to head coach Matt Eberflus, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, and offensive line coach Chris Morgan. However, the quarterback does have the power to put in a good word. If he trusts that Jones has his best interests in mind, then he’ll tell the coaches that.
The next 30 days will be a pivotal time for Braxton Jones. Training camp begins on July 28th. That first week could set the tone for what follows. Eberflus said the coaches would continue experimenting with the offensive line to find the best possible five-man combination. Much of Jones’ chances will depend on two factors. How he plays personally, and how Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins sort out the right tackle situation.