Cardinals ‘Lucky to Have’ New OL

The Arizona Cardinals will only see Christian Jones improve over his career, according to Texas coach Steve Sarkisian.

ARIZONA — The Arizona Cardinals selected Texas Longhorns OT Christian Jones on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft, a pick that could prove to be fruitful for the future.

Jones won’t be expected to start right away thanks to the presence of Paris Johnson Jr. and Jonah Williams, though the Texas product could pay dividends down the road.

Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian offered this to say after Jones got drafted:

“Arizona got a great player and person, and a guy with a very bright future in the NFL,” said Sarkisian in a statement (h/t On3).

“Christian is a guy who I watched develop as much as anybody in his three years with us. He’s a three-year starter who began playing left tackle before moving to the right side where he really blossomed in year two and three. He’s a guy (Kyle) Flood poured a lot into, and we really saw his development grow exponentially in his time here. He and the team reaped the benefits of that.

“Christian was a guy we could really trust, he was great in the locker room, did things the right way and because of that, we saw his game evolve. His fundamentals improved, his understanding of the scheme really grew, he became a very good pass protector for us, but also showed versatility in the run game. I do think he has position flexibility at the next level as a guy who can definitely play either tackle spot, and I would say could even play guard if needed because he’s got the measurables that are unique to that position.

“Because of the fact that he hasn’t play a ton of football relative to most guys, I think his best days are ahead of him. His development is not complete, he can continue to grow as a player and inevitably be a really productive player at the professional level. The Cardinals are lucky to have him, as a player, teammate and awesome representative of their franchise in every way.”

Versatility is a coveted trait for all NFL teams, though Jonathan Gannon and the rest of the Cardinals’ staff seem to place a high priority on bringing in players who can do multiple things.

“He started a lot of ball for them down there (at) right tackle. An impressive kid and very mature. He’s played a lot. He’s smart and intelligent. Looking forward to working with him,” Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort said of Jones.

Jones himself said he had a lot of contact with Arizona heading into the draft, and is quite excited to block for Kyler Murray moving forward:

“I had contact, Senior Bowl, Combine, and a Zoom as well. Arizona, like (QB) Kyler Murray, I’m from Texas so I’ve been watching him for a long time. A long, long, long time so very excited to do all I can to get Arizona back to winning the (NFC) Championship and winning a Super Bowl,” Jones said.

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