When the Cleveland Browns announced their final roster, it looked like they were rolling the dice at tackle.
While they always put a lot of faith in Jedrick Wills, third-year player James Hudson also got a boost in credibility.
That’s because the team rolled with a rookie as the only backup beyond the third-year player.
But Dawand Jones moved ahead of Hudson and will take over at right tackle in a very important season for Cleveland.
Stefanski says rookie 4th-rounder Dawand Jones will start at RT.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) September 11, 2023
Head coach Kevin Stefanski told the press gathered in Berea that Jones will get the nod in Week 2, per Andrew Siciliano.
Jones held his own against Cincinnati’s defense Sunday, playing in relief of the injured Jack Conklin.
With Conklin done for the rest of the season, the job is now Jones’ to lose.
And for his next test, Jones gets to face Pittsburgh’s voracious T.J. Watt in front of a national TV audience.
Pittsburgh got throttled at home against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1.
And some fans might have missed Watt’s performance as a result of the final score.
But Watt kicked off the season with three sacks and five quarterback hits, a batted pass, and a run stuff.
We’ll excuse the Steelers’ perennial All-Pro if he smiles when he sees a rookie line up opposite him on Monday.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 11, 2023
But Jones has beaten all expectations throughout the preseason.
As one would expect, his game is far from perfect at this point.
Jones received poor scores for his run-blocking Sunday, but his pass-protecting game is more important.
And he has a group of veterans and coaches to help him build his impressive story against Pittsburgh.