UNITY TWP., Pa — Through two weeks of training camp, Broderick Jones has his ups and downs, as any rookie offensive tackle would at this juncture. But Jones never got a true welcome to the NFL moment until Saturday when he met the old head in the room in Cam Heyward.
In the drill, Jones received a nasty long arm from Heyward, one of his moves that has made even the best guards in the NFL look silly at times. To say the least, Jones went flying backward in a way that had not been seen at training camp nor on his Georgia tape very often, and he ended up four yards back and into the quarterback on his backside.
To no surprise, Heyward still has all the tools that make him a top defensive lineman nowadays in the NFL. But Broderick Jones is a guy who has the tools to be at the top of the offensive tackle food chain eventually. This is one lesson that he simply has to take in stride from the elder statesmen of the entire team. It will be a moment that Jones is likely to look back on and realize this is where the jump from the NFL to Georgia comes into play, and that’s a hard thing to really replicate.
Jones has yet to see T.J. Watt. But that is likely coming up in short order. Jones has now seen Alex Highsmith and Heyward in addition to the veteran in the room, Markus Golden. The fact that Mike Tomlin and the staff are even giving him these opportunities shows really how much they believe in Jones as a guy who can take a step and become part of their future along the offensive line. His preseason game film will be as important as any to really gauging where he is at as a player.