ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Barrett Jones' college resume is impressive enough -- he won three BCS National Championships with the Crimson Tide.
What makes it all the more outstanding is that he won each one of those championships playing a different position on the offensive line.
“When you play a lot of positions, it allows you to learn the offense from different perspectives," said Jones, who started at left tackle, right guard and center in his career. "You stop memorizing the offense and start understanding it. That’s the biggest reason playing center mentally wasn’t that big a challenge. I understood the offense and what we were trying to accomplish.”
At Alabama, Jones started 49 games -- 25 at right guard, 11 at left tackle and 13 at center -- finishing his career as a consensus first-team All-American and the Rimington Trophy recipient in 2012.
With so much experience at such different positions, Jones said he's heard a number of opinions on where he best fits in the NFL.
At the moment, he believes he'll best transition as a center, which happens to be the position he enjoys the most.
"I really like center because I enjoy the mental part of it," he said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "It’s the most mentally challenging offensive line position. Just to be honest, I’m kind of a control freak. I like that aspect, to be in control. And kind of point out to other people their assignments.”
Last year, the people Jones pointed in the right direction include two potential first-rounders in tackle D.J. Fluker and guard Chance Warmack.
Playing in the middle of such a talented group against elite SEC competition all the way to a national championship is something that will stick with Jones as he moves on to the professional level.
“That was fun playing with those guys," he said. "It’s fun to be part of an elite unit, which I thought we were. I played on a lot of good offensive lines, but not any of them even close to as good as this past year.”
Jones wasn't able to participate in combine drills due to a Lisfranc injury. He tore some ligaments in his foot, and the injury will require surgery. Jones said it comes with approximately a four-month recovery period.
But he hoped to impress at the combine through the interview process, and let his college tape speak for itself.
As he makes his way to the NFL, Jones said he's grateful for all the awards he earned in a student athlete. But the one that means the most to him is one he hopes to earn again at the next level.
“The thing I’m most proud of is being named team captain," he said. "The awards that come from your teammates, that means the most. You earned their respect."