The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 27, 2013

Rams take Alabama OL Barrett Jones in 4th round


Associated Press

— ST. LOUIS (AP) — Barrett Jones is such a decorated offensive lineman he packs away some of the trophy hardware in a closet.

"Off the record, there's too many to display," the Alabama center said Saturday after the St. Louis Rams selected him in the fourth round of the NFL draft. "Not being cocky, I'm just saying I've been blessed to have a lot of rewards."

The 6-4, 306-pound Jones won the Outland Trophy in 2011 and the Rimington Award in 2012, plus there's the Jacobs Blocking Trophy (2011) and the William V. Campbell Award (2012), commonly referred to as the Academic Heisman. The 113th overall selection played on three national championship teams.

"I play because I love the game and I play to win," Jones said. "I feel like I'm a winner and that's the attitude I'm going to bring to St. Louis."

Jones, who did not allow a sack as a senior, had been hoping to get picked in the third round, "but I didn't and that's all right. I think a lot of people get hung up on where they get drafted. I'm just glad to have an opportunity."

He's not yet well-schooled on the Rams, but give him time. Jones earned an accounting degree in three years and added a master's degree last December.

"I've watched them on TV, but that's really the extent of my familiarity," Jones said. "Ask me in a few weeks and I'll have a lot of familiarity with them."

Jones was a four-year starter and has played at guard, center and tackle, and projects as an interior line backup for now on a team that's set after signing tackle Jake Long in free agency. He made half of his 50 college starts at right guard, and was a third-day draft pick due to scouting assessments that deemed him a bit shy on athleticism with most teams talking to him about center and guard.

Jones is rehabbing from foot surgery after the national championship game and expects to be ready soon.

The Rams traded up eight spots to get West Virginia wide receiver and multipurpose threat Tavon Austin with the eighth overall pick, and added Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree with a second first-round pick. They selected USC safety T.J. McDonald and West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey in the third.