1) Introduction: Year 2 would be a pivotal year for Datone Jones, the Packers 1st round pick from the 2013 after an ankle injury derailed his rookie season. Would he bounce back and live up to his lofty draft status or sink into obscurity like fellow first round draft pick Nick Perry?
- Age: 24
- Born: July 24, 1990 in Los Angeles, CA
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 285
- College: UCLA
- Rookie Year: 2013
- NFL Experience: 2
3) Expectations coming into the season: Live up to the 1st round billing. While Jones might have gotten a pass during his 1st season being a rookie and getting injured on the first play of his professional career, the same couldn’t be said about his second year. With the Packers experiencing 2 years of pretty terrible defensive play, Jones was expected to start at defensive end in the base package and kick inside to defensive tackle in nickel defenses.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Jones’ highlight was definitely against Tampa Bay, where he recorded a sack, 2 hurries and a run stop. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the 283 lb defensive linemen doesn’t exactly set the edge all that well and his lowlights were definitely against Seattle, where he was run over in the running game and made costly mistakes in pass rushing Russel Wilson.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Average. Datone Jones is the polar opposite of CJ Wilson, the man he replaced. While Wilson contributed basically nothing in the passing game but was a good run stopper, Jones doesn’t have the strength or bulk to really sustain in the running game, but does use his speed and quickness to get to the quarterback. Given a choice between the two, getting to the quarterback is always more important, but using a 1st round pick instead of a 6th for minimal returns likely doesn’t help his cause.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: As mentioned previously, Jones’ forte is pass rushing, which doesn’t exactly help when the two teams that the Packers faced in the post season were the Cowboys and the Seahawks, both of which lean on their running game but have a passible (hah) aerial attack. While I understand that run defense isn’t Jones forte, you expect a 1st round pick to be more well rounded than that.
7) Intangibles: Jones is still young and defensive linemen historically are slow to get up to speed in the NFL so Jones shouldn’t be written off just yet, but he is trending more towards Nick Perry than he is Clay Matthews.
Season Report Card (Player Grades):
(C+) Level of expectations met during the season
(C+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(D+) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: C——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.