High School and College Career
Matthew Jones, a 4-star recruit from Erasmus Hall High School, decided to join the Ohio State Buckeyes as a freshman in 2019.
He played in eight games, a total of 114 snaps, as a left guard. Jones did not allow any QB hurries, QB hits, or sacks while in this position.
In his sophomore year in 2020, Jones played in four games, for a total of 205 snaps as a left guard. He conceded two QB hurries, four QB hits, and one sack.
Throughout his junior year in 2021, Jones saw action in 11 games, playing the majority of his snaps at left guard and some at right guard, accumulating 459 snaps. Jones only gave up six QB hurries and two QB hits, collectively remaining sack-free for this season.
In 2022, as a senior, Jones once again saw action in 11 games, helping the Buckeyes in a total of 658 snaps at right guard. Remarkably, Jones only allowed four QB hurries, one QB hit, and did not give up any sacks in this position.
Matthew Jones Scouting Report Introduction
Matthew Jones is a promising offensive lineman for Ohio State with a particular strength in run blocking. Jones is notable for his explosive movements off the ball and strong initial jolt, which allows him to widen lanes on the field. His combination of powerful hands and quick feet make him an effective blocker, creating significant movement in the run game. Jones’ temperament is ideal for his position, displaying a nasty demeanor that is highly desired in offensive linemen.
In addition to his run-blocking ability, Jones also features a stout anchor in pass protection, which allows him to absorb power from opposing players. This makes it difficult for opponents to find success by trying to play through him. Jones also has great hand usage, allowing him to compete for his hand fits and control reps. He shows flashes of being able to work his hands independently and vary his strikes.
However, Jones does have some areas for improvement. He has only started five games in his career at Ohio State and needs to prove his abilities with more consistency across a larger sample size. The coaching staff has noted that there are times when he looks like a first-rounder, but he lacks consistency in other games. While Jones has played all three interior spots for Ohio State, he doesn’t appear to be the most agile player, and his lateral movement is not particularly impressive. Additionally, he has some leaner tendencies, and it would be beneficial for him to play with better bend and a stronger willingness to sit on his hips.
Matthew Jones consistently exhibits strong blocks at the second level and has mastered the art of a strong finish. His skills extend beyond just run blocking, as he is also an impressive pass protector. Jones is equipped with violent and heavy hands, enabling him to easily deliver a strong initial punch and grip and redirect pass rushers. He is highly aware of twists and stunts and can catch and handle moving defenders thanks to his strong and flexible core and wide base.
When his hand placement is on point, Jones demonstrates a powerful grip that allows him to easily manhandle opponents. His tenacious play style is exemplified by his ability to play with a mean streak and continue the momentum through the whistle. Despite being adequate in terms of foot quickness, he is still able to remain outside and can surprise many with his agility when adjusting to moving defenders. Additionally, Jones’ athleticism, agility, balance, and even his straight-line speed are vastly underrated, allowing him to contribute significantly to his team.
What sets Jones apart from other players is his love for physicality. He is not afraid of going head-to-head with bigger defensive linemen and often out-grapples them in the phone booth with tenacity and upper-body strength. Jones’ ability to win battles in the trenches, strong awareness of the game, and his physical play style make him an invaluable asset to any team he is a part of.
Jones does not seem to display the necessary level of aggression that is typical of an elite offensive lineman. This is vital for a top lineman to possess, both in run blocking and pass protection.
It is apparent that Jones is generally more comfortable moving forward as opposed to sliding back to protect the quarterback. This suggests that his skill set may be more suited to a run-blocking role as opposed to pass protection. Indeed, Jones has been known to stop his feet when delivering a punch, an action that can disrupt his timing and potentially weaken his impact as a blocker. Additionally, he has been known to struggle with balance when moving back into his set, an issue that may reflect a need for further skill development and refinement.
While Jones is undoubtedly light on his feet for a guard, he may not possess the range or size needed to protect the outside against the NFL’s pass rushers effectively.
Matthew Jones is the 153rd prospect on our draft big board.