Packers select DE Datone Jones, UCLA, with 1st round pick : Packers Insider

Packers select DE Datone Jones, UCLA, with 1st round pick

April 25, 2013 by  
Filed under News

By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider senior editor

~After spending a high pick last year on defensive lineman Jerel Worthy and getting little return on their investment, the Packers used their first round pick tonight to select another defensive lineman, Datone Jones from UCLA.

The Packers selected UCLA DE/DT Datone Jones with the 26th pick Thursday.

Jones, at 6’4″, 283, is not quite the prototypical 3-4 DE in terms of height, but that “prototype” may be evolving to deal with the new offenses NFL teams are incorporating with the pistol offenses, read-options, and more mobile quarterbacks. The game is still a passing game and defenses best chance to stop them is to pressure the QB. Jones does that well.

This from Rob Rang, NFL Draft Scout, in his pre-draft scouting report on Datone Jones:
“Jones, stouter at 6-4 (1/8) and a rock-solid 280 pounds, has seen time at left and right defensive end. Jones, who posted 19 tackles for loss for the Bruins (and)  6.5 sacks is used to being moved around, as he saw time at virtually every position along the Bruins’ defensive line throughout his career.

The Packers hope Jones provides more impact at DL than last year's #2 pick Jerel Worthy did. Worthy, after doing nothing for 15 games, then tore his ACL in game 16 on a play where he made no impact.

His combination of quickness and strength results in an explosiveness that has been tough for the North defensive linemen to handle. He was able to simply bull-rush offensive linemen, including (#1 overall pick) Fisher and Wisconsin’s Ricky Wagner on multiple occasions.

With so many clubs looking for “hybrid” defensive linemen capable of playing inside or out, however, he’s earning high marks from talent evaluators for his versatility.”

Here’s some more scouting reports, this from CBS Sportsline:

STRENGTHS: Well-built athlete with long arms and good strength, throughout. Flashes an explosive initial burst off the snap to penetrate gaps. Uses his hands well at the snap to rip free from blocks, showing a variety of pass rush techniques (swim, rip, club), as well as enough power to simply bull over offensive linemen into the backfield.
Keeps his head up and locates the football quickly, showing good awareness and effort in pursuit. Has the upper-body strength to lock-out opponents and seal the edge. Stout enough to slide inside to defensive tackle, especially on obvious pass rush downs. Enjoyed a breakout senior campaign and may be just scratching the surface of his potential.

WEAKNESSES: A classic ‘tweener who until his senior season hadn’t ever lived up to expectations. Lacks the sustained speed and flexibility to turn the corner as a traditional 4-3 defensive end. Lacks the bulk to handle full-time duties as a traditional defensive tackle. Has a tendency to stand up as he comes off the ball, losing out on the leverage battle. Uses his hands well initially but tires quickly and struggles to disengage once his opponent has locked on.

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA NOVEMBER 17, 2012-UCLA's Datone Jones calls for USC's medical staff as quarterback Matt Barkley lies injured after a sack at the Rose Bowl Saturday. (Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times)

COMPARES TO: Robert Ayers, DE, Denver Broncos — Like Ayers, Jones has flashed talent throughout his collegiate career but has been racked with inconsistency. His versatility and big senior season could push a team to gamble on his upside early.

Here was one more from draft scout Charlie Campbell:

  • Very powerful defender
  • Extremely strong hands
  • Excellent run-defender
  • Can overwhelm linemen with his power
  • Very physical
  • Stout at the point of attack
  • Controls his gap
  • Steady motor
  • Experience against double-teams
  • Disruptive
  • Causes havoc at the line of scrimmage
  • Uses hands well
  • Plays with good leverage
  • Pad level
  • Quickness
  • Hard worker
  • Dedicated to weight room and training
  • Scheme versatility
  • Should be able to play immediately


  • Tweener end/tackle
  • A little tight
  • For the NFL, lacks a speed rush around the edge
  • Broken foot cost him 2010 season

    Player Comparison: Justin Smith. After landing with the 49ers, Smith became one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL. He is a disruptive and powerful force at the point of attack. Jones is nearly identical measurements to Smith (6-4, 285). When Jones is playing well his game resembles Smith, but it is hard to say that Jones will turn into as good a pro as Smith.

    If Datone is anything like Justin Smith, the Packers will have taken a big step forward on defense.

    NFL Matches: New York Giants, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Detroit, Tampa Bay There are a number of teams that could consider Jones late in the first round and early in the second round. The Giants are perhaps the earliest that Jones could come off the board. They need defensive end help and like to have ends who can move inside to rush the passer.

    The 49ers need an understudy to Smith as he turns 34 next September. Jones would be a perfect complement and long-term replacement in San Francisco’s 3-4 defense.

    The Eagles need talent for their defensive line after switching to a 3-4 defense. Jones could factor into Philadelphia’s plans at the top of the second round.

    Detroit needs to bring in talent at defensive end after losing Cliff Avril. Jones’ physical style of play would be a nice complement to Ndamukong Suh, and Jones could be a good replacement for Kyle Vanden Bosch.

    The Bucs need defensive end help after losing Michael Bennett in free agency. Sources have revealed that Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik is hot for Jones. If he falls to the Buccaneers second-round pick, he looks likely to land with the Bucs. It wouldn’t be surprising if they trade up for Jones.

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