I'm trying to get this Ben Jones post in before news emerges that the Falcons have interviewed him. Yes, I'm that certain they will.
So who is Ben Jones? Anyone who lives in Atlanta and is also a Georgia football fan can probably write some sonnets about the guy, so this is more for those who aren't familiar with Mr. Jones. He's a 300+ pound center, a multi-year starter at Georgia and a guy who profiles as a big ol' center or possibly guard at the NFL level. He's NFL Draft Scout's second-best center prospect for 2012, as well, thanks to his technically sound footwork and terrific strength.
Let's get this right out of the way: If the Falcons are seriously considering upgrading their offensive line, Jones would be a virtual lock to accomplish that. The Falcons could have him replace Todd McClure or fill in at the troubled right guard position, allowing them to shuffle around young talents like Joe Hawley and Mike Johnson at other positions of need. Some would argue the Falcons need an offensive tackle more than an interior lineman—I'm sympathetic to that point of view—but the reality is that the team has to get better at multiple positions on this line. Jones, by virtue of the fact that he's a center, may well last to the Falcons in the second round.
Then again, he may not. He's practicing well at the Senior Bowl and would probably rocket up boards with a quality combine. Polished, huge offensive linemen are not a dime a dozen in the NFL, especially those that play inside. The Falcons could be in a position where they have to move up to get at him, and at some point you have to stop throwing draft picks into the ether.
So if Jones is available in the second round, I expect him to be one of the top guys on the team's draft board. I'm just not certain he'll last that long.
What say you?