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Green Bay Packers select UCLA DL Datone Jones with the 26th overall pick

Doug Farrar
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The Green Bay Packers have selected UCLA DL Datone Jones with the 26th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

Pros: Brings outstanding force to his efforts when moving past blockers and getting into the pocket -- gets his hands inside his opponent, pushes forward with a violent strike, and has an impressive array of hand moves to get through. More a penetrator than a wrestler -- he's always looking to hit the next level. Uses consistent rip move to propel himself past the blockers. Adapts very well to slide protection -- keeps his feet moving and avoids getting plowed with active hands. Works with tremendous leverage when he stays low and beats his man off the snap -- presents a speed/power combo that makes it very difficult for blockers to recover. Played predominantly as a three-tech tackle, but showed enough explosion and edge speed when playing five-tech in three-man fronts to realistically project him there at the NFL level. Brings decent push to the line even with his hand off the ground. Understanding of angles allows him to get skinny through gaps. Has enough foot speed to bring pass pressure outside in stunts.

Cons: At 283 pounds, Jones doesn't have the consistent drive power you see in the best three-tech tackles -- he comes up just short in some double-team situations where he can be physically overwhelmed. Will be blocked out from side to side and doesn't always have the kind of recovery burst needed to make plays out of that. Could be seen by some teams as a "tweener" with no singular defined NFL-level position. Leverage is sometimes an issue.

What he brings to the team: The return of a Cullen Jenkins-type player, which the Packers have been missing since Jenkins went to the Eagles. Because Jones has the legitimate ability to play as a penetrating defensive tackle and run-stopping defensive end, and potential to play as an end in certain 3-4 and 5-2 fronts, Jones provides optimal value in Dom Capers' defense.

"I feel like the game is changing," Jones said at the combine. "There’s more versatile defensive linemen in today’s game. You don’t really see every-down defensive linemen now. You see a guy who plays first and second down, then goes and sits down. Then another pass-rush specialist comes in on third down and takes his spot. I want to be a guy who can play every down."

The tape shows, quite conclusively, that he's already doing it

Was it the right pick? Perfect fit -- this is a lock for both player and team. Jones is set up to excel as a potential Defensive Rookie of the Year level.

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