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Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Datone Jones is ready for a breakout season

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.

That experiment failed as B.J. Raji and Johnny Jolly proved to be nose tackles and not guys who should be playing 3-4 defensive ends.

Ryan Pickett and Jolly are not back with the Packers and one man who should now gain a lot of playing time on what will be a more athletic defensive line is 2013 first round pick Datone Jones.

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 is a really good run defender.

Jul 30, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packer defensive end Datone Jones during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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