Since redshirting for the Tide in 2008, Jones has simply started 49 of the past 53 games, earning action at right guard (25 starts), center (14) left tackle (10).
Despite earning first-team All-SEC honors (and third-team All-American accolades by the Associated Press) in 2010 while at right guard, Jones was asked to move to the all-important blind-side tackle position in 2011 and starred there. He earned the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman as well as the Jacobs Blocking Trophy (SEC's top offensive lineman) and was a consensus All-American.
Coach Nick Saban moved his top lineman once again in 2012; this time to the center position, where the same intelligence, quickness, balance and surprising anchor Jones demonstrated at guard and tackle translated well.
Jones started all 14 games of Alabama's run to its third national title in fourth year. He was again a consensus All-American and first-team All-SEC performer. He closed out his career with a strong performance against Notre Dame despite playing with torn ligaments in his left foot suffered during the SEC Championship Game.
Jones also won the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy recognizing the "absolute best scholar-athlete" in the nation. He was the first Crimson Tide player to capture the award.
"I want to thank everyone from Alabama who helped make this possible for me," Jones said while accepting the award. "I want to thank Coach (Mal) Moore, Coach Saban and all of my teammates. I think many people know how good of a football coach he (Saban) is, but what he doesn't get enough credit for is how good of a job he does developing young men.
"I also want to thank my parents and my family. I am very close to my parents. There is no way I would be up here today without them. When I left for college my dad told me something that I will never forget, he said "Barrett never forget who you are and whose you are." I have tried to live up to that my whole life. He has taught me many good principles about how to work hard, how to help others and how to give back.
Whether at tackle, guard or center, Jones has demonstrated that he's dependable against the elite competition in college football. Head coach Nick Saban has said on many occasions that Jones is one of the top players he's ever been around and has compared the 2011 Outland Trophy (nation's top interior lineman) to Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Considering his versatility and dependability (not to mention his coach's impressive recommendation), Jones quietly ranks among the safest prospects in the draft.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn't blow defenders off the ball with pure strength. Not a flashy athlete and may struggle to excel at the NFL level.
COMPARES TO: Bruce Matthews, OL, ex-Oilers/Titan -- Alabama coach Nick Saban has publicly compared Jones to the Hall of Famer Matthews, who saw action at all five positions during his 19 years with the Houston Oilers (and Tennessee Titans), and whom Saban saw up close when coaching defensive backs in Houston from 1988-1989.