The Green Bay Packers selected UCLA Defensive End Datone Jones with their first round selection in the NFL Draft … a need pick that will add speed, and more importantly some toughness that many feel is missing from the team’s chemistry.
Packers coordinator Dom Capers, in a press conference tonight from Green Bay, said that Jones will add athleticism to his unit:
"“We like athletic guys who can go out into space … play out in space … He has good presence … we like his character, leadership, and work ethic … we like his ability to move around and play different spots … play at times like big linebacker. We like his basketball background. lateral movement"
Jones spoke with writers earlier tonight.
The following are tweets that the reporters sent out during the interview:
Here’s what the NFL.com draft page describes at Jones’s strengths:
"STRENGTHSVersatile lineman that can fit in an odd or even front. Fires off the ball with impressive pad level and is often able to shock the offensive lineman with a quick jolt. Use active hands to disengage quickly. If he cannot disengage, he keeps his arms extended. Maintains the line by keeping his body leaning forward. Difficult for running backs to avoid him in tight quarters, keeps his feet moving while wrapping up. Shows surprising bend and agility to break down and make tackles in space and to contain when given that assignment. Gives chase to ballcarriers outside the box when fresh. Churns toward the quarterback and keeps his hands active to encroach until the ball is away. Vocal leader on the field."
I like that last sentence. Not only does the Packers defense need players who will bring their A-game on the field, but they need the motivators who will also bring enthusiasm to their job.
On the other hand, here are his weaknesses:
"WEAKNESSESMust prove he can sit down in his stance and keep his butt down to get low or anchor against drive blockers. Forward lean can cause him to get off-balance at times, savvy veterans will rip him down to get him to the ground. 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."
While many felt that the Packers would select a running back with the first pick, that’s just not Ted Thompson’s mode of operation. I feel they will take a running back, but it won’t be until the third round, at the earliest.
With this selection, the Packers addressed the need along the defensive line, now they must look to the later rounds to deal with safety, running back, linebacker and maybe even wide receiver.
So far, this has been an interesting draft that will continue through the next two days as teams, including the Packers, round out their rosters.
Stay tuned …