After the Redskins drafted tackle Brandon Scherff in the first round on Thursday, Jay Gruden said they wanted to build a big, physical offensive line.
In the third round on Friday they got a big, physical running back to work behind that line.
After trading back in the third round Washington tabbed Matt Jones out of Florida, 6-2, 231, with the 95th pick of the draft. Jay Gruden called him a “downhill, smashmouth type runner” and he immediately adds some power to a group of running backs that lacks that attribute.
Although Jones can move the pile, he needs to learn to be more patient and recognize when and where holes are going to open up.
Jones has demonstrated decent pass-catching ability out the backfield, although he was rarely called upon to use it. In three seasons with the Gators he caught 19 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Even if he doesn’t catch many passes he can still be of value when the quarterback drops back. His pass blocking skills are excellent.
Jones has had to deal with some injuries during his career, most notably a knee injury that ended his 2013 season after just five games.
We will see what his place on the running back depth chart will be. Alfred Morris remains the starter, Gruden said. But Jones could have a role on third downs, particularly in short yardage where his power could be utilized. Chris Thompson, a fast back who has been unable to stay healthy, and Silas Redd are the other backs who will be competing for playing time and possibly a roster spot.