Jack Conklin's Heir Apparent Named Browns' Most Promising Building Block of 2024

Former Ohio State offensive lineman Dawand Jones showed he could be a starting-caliber last season when he had to step in for Jack Conklin.
Cleveland Browns v Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns v Miami Dolphins / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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The Cleveland Browns somehow made the playoffs last season despite missing their starting quarterback (Deshaun Watson), running back (Nick Chubb), and right tackle (Jack Conklin) at different points of the season.

Most teams usually fall apart when they miss that many important players on one side of the ball. But to their credit, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski coached his team up and trusted those backups to do their job.

Joe Flacco went on a magical run in the second half of the regular season, which led to him winning Comeback Player of the Year, while Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt were a dynamic 1-2 punch at running back.

However, when it came to the offensive line, rookie Dawand Jones stepped up for injured right tackle Jack Conklin and played like a veteran, which helped Cleveland early in the 2023 campaign.

The Browns didn’t expect Jones to play as a rookie after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft. But when Conklin went down, the former Ohio State offensive lineman was the next man up.

Bleacher Report’s David Kenyon believes that the second-year offensive lineman is one of the most promising building blocks in the AFC North this coming season and is a “key piece” of the Browns’ future.

"Dawand Jones took on a first-string spot as a rookie after Jack Conklin's early injury and played well. Jones started nine games at right tackle and allowed a modest three sacks, according to Pro Football Focus. He's a key piece of Cleveland's future up front."

Bleacher Report's David Kenyon

Jones played 87 percent of offensive snaps as a rookie, which is good on-the-job training that will only make him better this coming season. The former fourth-round pick is penciled in as the backup behind Conklin for 2024.

However, if Conklin or Jedrick Wills Jr. gets hurt this coming season, we shouldn’t be surprised if Jones is called into duty. He showed a lot of promise as a rookie and can be the future starting right tackle soon.

The NFL shows us every season that you can never have too many starting-caliber offensive linemen because it could be the difference between a win or loss.

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