The Packers filled a need and got a good value (at least according to some sites) with the 26th pick in the first round, selecting UCLA defensive end Datone Jones. Jones may finally be that replacement for Cullen Jenkins that Dom Capers has wanted since the 2010 season, and hopefully he’ll have an impact immediately on the defensive line.
Although defensive tackle Sylvester Williams was still on the board, the Packers went with the longer, faster Jones, who presumably will play at end in the base 3-4 and possibly shift inside in pass rushing situations.
But rather than breaking down the potential performance of a young man who hasn’t put on a Packer uniform yet, I’m just going to throw a bunch of information at you. Deal?
First I’d like to point you to my totally self-aggrandizing prediction from yesterday, quoted here for your convenience:
If they don’t trade down, the Packers will draft Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, UCLA defensive end Datone Jones, or another lineman.
So there’s that. Moving on, here’s all you need to know about Datone Jones.
- Flashes an explosive initial burst off the snap to penetrate gaps. (CBS Sports)
- May be just scratching the surface of his potential. (CBS Sports)
- Versatile lineman that can fit in an odd or even front. (NFL.com)
- Churns toward the quarterback and keeps his hands active to encroach until the ball is away. (NFL.com)
- Vocal leader on the field. (NFL.com)
- He’s a violent player, and that’s always a good thing for a defensive lineman. Jones seems to play a little bigger than his 284… (SB Nation)
- Jones was the only player at the Senior Bowl to give consistent trouble to LT Eric Fisher, who saw his stock soar while manhandling other DE prospects. (Bleacher Report)
- Has experience lining up at every position along the defensive line. (NEPatriotsDraft.com)
- Has a tendency to stand up as he comes off the ball, losing out on the leverage battle. (CBS Sports)
- Lacks the sustained speed and flexibility to turn the corner as a traditional 4-3 defensive end. (CBS Sports)
- Knocked off his pass rush route by a strong punch when lined up outside, also lacks great bend and agility to be an elite edge rusher or to redirect his path. (NFL.com)
- Needs to get more extension with his arms, relies to much on power, not extension. (NEPatriotsDraft.com)
- Has trouble shedding once OL has hands in his chest (NEPatriotsDraft.com)
Jones is also considered to be a “high character” guy with a deep love of football and seems mature beyond his years, as evidenced by this little anecdote from Bleacher Report:
When his teammates in Mobile universally went from one media obligation to the next in sweatpants and workout gear, Jones wore a suit.
Jones does not have a Twitter account and does not sit around fiddling with a smart phone while waiting for “handlers” to tell him where to go next during these all-star events. He introduces himself to people and begins talking to them about football. He says he’s thought about getting on Twitter, “but it seems like a distraction.”
In addition, he definitely loves his family:
And he knows how to say the right things to the home town media.
He even got Ted Thompson to crack a smile!
Here’s a video that effectively breaks down the strengths and weaknesses to Jones’ game.
And finally, here’s a video with nothing but highlights. Welcome to the Packers, Datone Jones!