INDIANAPOLIS – Keeping with our look at some of the top centers at the Combine (Wisconsin’s Peter Konz did not come through the media center Thursday), this mini-profile features Georgia senior Ben Jones. NFLDraftScout.com rates him the No. 2 center in the draft and a second-third round projection.
At 6-foot-2 1/2 , 305 pounds, Jones talked about one of Packers coach Mike McCarthy’s favorite issues – pad level.
“I think I’m pretty normal size for a center,” Jones said. “I’m 6-2 ½, 305. I have lower body strength and the game of football is about leverage, getting under guys and standing them up.
“I’ve played against a lot of different defenses. We play a 3-4 so I’m going against 360-pound guys every day. In the SEC, you see a lot of over and under fronts. I’ve seen all different kinds of fronts and I’m able to adjust to either one.”
Jones also thinks of himself as a perfect fit in the zone-blocking scheme.
“That’s what we did in high school and college so I’m used to that,” Jones said. “I think it’s a great scheme.
“It really opens up for backs and gives them a two-way go. I’m very comfortable in playing in a zone-blocking scheme.”
Jones was asked about his strengths and weaknesses.
“I’d say one of my strengths, I’m definitely a leader on our team,” Jones said. “I can come out and get everybody on the same page on the offensive line and the offense. We have one goal, to go out and win, and I think I’m very good at doing that.
“One of my weaknesses is just getting to the second level faster, getting out there on the ‘backers a little quicker.”
Brown apparently has a habit of going through warmups barefooted – something he’s done since high school. Rain, sleet, snow, mud – didn’t matter
Even if it’s in frigid Green Bay?
“Definitely. That’s not a problem at all,” Jones said.
Lastly, Jones told the story of how he changed his number to honor his father who passed away.
“He was a forester so they were flying over timber and it was just a freak accident,” Jones explained. “The plane crashed and that was the main reason I went to Georgia. He graduated from Georgia and he wore No. 60 in high school. My first three years of college, I wore No. 61 because No. 60 was taken. My last year I wanted to dedicate to my dad.
“I was 10. I remember sitting in there working on a school project with my mom and the preacher knocks on the door with my aunt. I was like, ‘Why are they knocking on the front door?’ because we have an old farmhouse. We never used the front of the house unless it was Thanksgiving or something. So when I saw that, I ran upstairs, changed and said, ‘Why is the preacher here?’ I came in, looked and my mom was crying. I knew right away something was wrong. From then on, it definitely sticks with me. It’s a time of my life, I’ve learned from it and it’s made me a better man.”