Datone Jones 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

Green Bay Packers Report Cards, Player Grades

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?

2) Profile:

Datone Jones

  • Age: 24
  • Born: July 24, 1990 in Los Angeles, CA
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 285
  • College: UCLA
  • Rookie Year: 2013
  • NFL Experience: 2 

Career Stats and more

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.


9 thoughts on “Datone Jones 2014 Report Card – Packers Player Grades

  1. Tough evaluation to make. I can’t say that I noticed this guy in any game that I watched. As a guy not buried in the middle of the line, you would think that he would stand out on occasion. For all that TT does well for this team, he doesn’t seem to get it right on these big guys. Our D-line has been very average for the last 3-4 years and guys like Datone, Raji, Neal and Perry were suppose to be the rebuild. Seems like we are on the rebuild of the rebuild. “C” is about right – but it is not good enough and that is part of the problem on defense.

    Perhaps the addition of Jerry Montgomery from Oklahoma is an attempt to get better at evaluating talent.

    1. This might be changing but all defensive linemen in a 3-4 defense aren’t going to wow you with highlights or stats. At least in the traditional sense, defensive ends were supposed to hold up the offensive linemen for the outside linebackers, which isn’t the most glamourous job out there. I’ve argued that that’s changed somewhat since the inception of the 3-4 (see JJ Watt), but those types of players are exceedingly rare.

    1. That’s a little rough to compare anyone to perhaps the greatest defensive linemen in NFL history. Hell, even Clay Matthews didn’t hit 31 sacks in his first two seasons but its not like we have a problem with that.

  2. I think all of you are little hard on Datone. We do not know what his assignments were, so, maybe he is doing better than we think, or even worse that that… As my look is optimistic to the Packers future, I’m tending to give Datone little better grade, at least C+. But, again, I might be very wrong!

    1. I think the general consensus so far is somewhere in the C range. C+ might be warranted but on the flip side, as a first round pick fans are expecting a lot more.

  3. I agree with all the comments. I would give him a C-. 314 snaps (just 28.7% of defensive snaps), 22 tackles, 1.5 sacks (eyeball test says that Datone did better in the hurries and QB hits department) 1 Int, 2 passes defensed, 2 run stuffs. Nothing to write home about. Below average against the run, maybe a little above the average rushing the passer. He is a somewhat below average 3-4 DE on the field. Boyd played more snaps 386. That’s telling.

    Main concern is that Datone looks to be a ‘tweener. Listed at 283 Lbs., there have been reports that his weight drops to 270 during the season. He needs to get stronger w/o losing his twitch. If he can’t, he will be a situational player only.

  4. Why did TT think this guy could play DE in a 3-4? If the main job is to hold the point and keep the LB clean, than this is not the guy. He’s a 3rd down pass rusher at best and hasn’t been impressive even at that. He hasn’t done anything to impress me. Jones, Perry, Harrell, Raji and Hawk. None of these front 7 guys (first rd picks)have lived up to their draft position . The only first rd front 7 guy TT hit on is CM3. That’s 1 in 6. He didn’t do so well on the other side of the ball with a big guy either, Sherrod. So in 9 drafts, TT got 2 first rounders right ( as far as big guys) the often injured Bulaga and Mathews. For a draft and develop team, TT has been somewhat of a failure in round 1. It’s a good thing Rodgers fell to him. That pick totally save TTs career.

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