Last season, the Green Bay Packers had one of the largest defensive lines in terms of overall weight in the NFL with a starting defensive line weighing in at one ton on average.
Coming out of UCLA, Jones had experience as a 3-4 defensive end and was very productive in that scheme largely due to his athleticism and great run defender skills. As a senior, Jones had an incredible season with 19 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks which helped him become a first round pick.
Datone Jones didn’t touch the field very often as a rookie but when he did, he was able to do a lot of damage.
Jones made an impact when he was on the field as a freshman as he had 10 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 1 fumble recovery. Of course, 3 of his 3.5 sacks came over the course of two games in back-to-back weeks against the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.
Jones showed great explosiveness and seemed to do a very good job at finding ways to get into the backfield. Jones is not one of those 4-3 defensive tackles that slides to defensive end in a 3-4 but the fact that he is a 3-4 defensive end has allowed him to be a great fit in Dom Capers’ defense.
Jones is currently at the top of the depth chart at one of the Packers’ defensive end spots which has pushed Julius Peppers to one of the outside linebacker spots. Jones is a great run defender and solid pass rusher which makes him very valuable in a 3-4 scheme that could allow the Packers to run fewer blitzes on long second and third down plays.
Datone Jones is ready to have a breakout season and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up around 50 to 60 tackles and 7 to 9 sacks, which would be very good numbers.