Player Capsule: Sam Jones
Position: Offensive Guard
Weight: 297 pounds
2015 season quick review: As a redshirt freshman Jones was called upon to play as the first offensive lineman off the bench in a variety of roles. He worked at left tackle, right tackle and left guard, with three starts.
Offensive line coach Chris Thomsen: "He's at least the same height and similar dimensions as Christian (Westerman). He's not as strong as Christian yet, but nobody is. But I feel really good about where he's at. He's got some experience now under his belt and he can play guard or tackle. I like him inside and how he's been doing there at left guard. He's worked real hard on just continuing to [hone his] craft and is a smart guy who is all in with everything we're doing and has been since he committed to us."
SunDevilSource.com analysis: Athletically -- and probably stylistically as well -- Jones is better suited to be an inside player at the college level. He's got pretty good length for a guard and has been adding good size the right way in order to fill out his frame. He's pretty much there now. It's one of the things that made him more of a consideration at tackle earlier in his career, when he didn't have as much heft and power to move veteran bodies on the inside.
As a pass protector though, there was too much to ask of Jones early in his career with managing athletes on the perimeter and it was a real challenge. On the inside he has a tight and accurate punch that he's working to get more powerful. He holds up relatively well on his anchor against bull attacks but there will be challenges in this regard to come.
Jones is a more versatile player at guard, where he is relatively smooth getting a release and attacking blocks in the run game. At times he can get a little bit too out in front of himself and miss on blocks against agile defensive linemen working laterally.
Projecting long term, Jones is going to have to add more heft to his frame to keep from being a classic 'tweener at the highest end projecting to the NFL. But he's got a lot going for him, with great intangibles -- tough, intelligent, team-oriented -- and a chance to get a lot of early on-field experience this season as a third-year sophomore.
Projected depth chart status: In the spring Jones clearly looked as productive and capable as any of the offensive guards on the ASU roster. As a result he seems the likely starter at left guard unless something really changes in August.