26

April

Packers 2013 NFL Draft: Day 1 Grade and Analysis

Packers DE Datone Jones

Packers DE Datone Jones

The first 32 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft are in the books, and the Packers struck gold (and baby blue?) by grabbing UCLA defensive end Datone Jones at No. 26.

Jones was a popular pick among mock drafts, and he was my selection for the Packers in my final mock draft released Thursday. At 6’4″ 283 pounds, Jones has the frame to add another 10-15 pounds and be a difference-maker on the defensive line early in his career.

But when the Packers were on the clock, Jones wasn’t necessarily a no-brainer. A number of players at positions of need were on the board, including defensive linemen Jesse Williams and Sylvester Williams, safeties Jonathan Cyprien and Matt Elam, and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.

The team’s two biggest needs are/were at safety and on the defensive line. So rather than go with a luxury pick like Patterson, the Packers opted to go with the more glaring need by taking Jones.

A year ago, the Packers addressed the defensive line by taking Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy in the second round and Iowa’s Mike Daniels in the fourth. Worthy suffered a torn ACL late in 2012 and may miss a large chuck, or perhaps all, of the 2013 season. And with Ryan Pickett, B.J. Raji, Mike Neal and C.J. Wilson set to hit free agency after this season, the selection of Jones gives the team some flexibility along the line.

What they’re saying:

“Because Green Bay plays a 3-4 defense, this kid is an ideal fit. I love this kid’s upside. He fits the scheme. He’s the only one I saw who beat Eric Fisher all week long in one-on-one.” – Mike Mayock (via NFL.com)

“Datone is a very versatile player, played all up and down the line of scrimmage at UCLA. Really flourished in Coach Mora’s new system out there. We think he adds a lot of versatility to our group, should be able to fit in and help our group out.” – Ted Thompson (via PackersNews.com)

“I hate losing and I’m happy to come to an organization like Green Bay, with a winning tradition,” Jones said. “To be able to play at Lambeau Field is crazy. I’m so hyped up right now already. I just want to play.” – Datone Jones (via JSOnline)

“All I know is Reggie White played one way and that was a maniacal effort and just a complete hunger. No matter who he lined up against, he wanted to dominate. And that’s the player I want to carry myself after.” – Jones (via JSOnline)

“He can move inside and play inside. He’s an athletic player, has some basketball background. I think he’s a high-character guy with a very good work ethic. Again, as we watched him play, it was easy to project him playing in our defense because they play a very similar defense at UCLA.” – Dom Capers (via JSOnline)

Who was on the board at No. 26:

If it’s possible, the board may have have fallen too perfectly for the Packers at the end of round one. With needs at safety and along the defensive line, the Packers had their choice between Jon Cyprien and Matt Elam, as well as Datone Jones and Jesse Williams.

Williams would have been an appealing pick due to his versatility; he could have pulled double-duty as a defensive end/nose tackle hybrid on the defensive line. But strictly comparing Jones and Williams as football players, grabbing Jones was better value at No. 26.

Tennessee wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was a unique option for the Packers. Having lost Greg Jennings to the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers could have added Patterson and prepared him to be an every-down player once James Jones and/or Jordy Nelson leaves in the next couple years. Patterson is undeniably raw right now, but he has incredible physical tools and would have benefitted from playing alongside a veteran group of receivers in Green Bay. Instead, he’ll learn from Greg Jennings and catch passes from Christian Ponder in Minnesota.

Offensive linemen were coming off the board at a record pace. Three offensive tackles came off the board in the top three picks, six of the first 11 selections were offensive linemen, and in total, eight linemen cracked the first round. The New York Giants grabbed Syracuse guard/tackle Justin Pugh at No. 19, and the Chicago Bears picked Oregon guard/tackle Kyle Long at No. 20. So needless to say, there weren’t many–if any–offensive linemen that warranted the Packers’ consideration when they were on the clock.

Another possible position for the Packers to address in round one was inside linebacker. Arthur Brown, Alec Ogletree and Kevin Minter were all there for the taking, but the Packers clearly felt like they had bigger needs. And I think that assessment would be correct.

Why they went with Jones:

It’s pretty simple. The Packers went with Jones because he was the best player available, and he fit a position of need.

If the pick came down to me, it would have been a hard decision between Jones (No. 20 on my board) and Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien (No. 21) but it’d be nearly impossible to make a compelling case against the Packers’ selection. Jones is capable of playing in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme, and the Packers were fortunate to see him on the board when they were on the clock.

Coming into the draft, it looked like the Indianapolis Colts would be the Packers’ main obstacle in landing Jones. But when the Colts used the 24th pick on Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, it looked like Jones would be available for the Packers after all.

Again, I don’t think the Packers could have went wrong with Cyprien or Jones at No. 26. Jones will step in and play a lot of snaps as a rookie, and he provides stability at a position with several question marks following the season.

Day 1 Grade: A-

It would have been hard to imagine a better scenario than the Packers grabbing Jones with their first pick. Sure, Jones may not be the sexy pick like Cordarrelle Patterson might have been, but he was simply too good to pass up.

Ted Thompson loves to spend early draft picks on big guys, and Jones should be a key contributor as a rookie. At UCLA, Jones was asked to play all along the defensive line in different packages, and he’ll likely be asked to do more of the same in Green Bay. Some argue that Jones’ 32 3/4″ arms prevent him from being the ideal 3-4 defensive end, but he’s masterful using his hands to free himself from blockers.

And unlike most of the Packers’ current defensive linemen, Jones has more than one pass-rushing move in his arsenal.

He’ll likely compete for playing time in the team’s base 3-4 scheme, and he’ll kick inside in the team’s nickel formation. Jones and Mike Neal should give the Packers an improved pass rush up the middle on passing downs.

Only time will tell, but all things considered, the Packers passed their first test in the 2013 NFL Draft. Next up: rounds two and three.

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Follow @MJEversoll

Marques is a Journalism student, serving as the Sports Editor of UW-Green Bay\'s campus newspaper The Fourth Estate and a Packers writer at Jersey Al\'s AllGBP.com. Follow Marques on Twitter @MJEversoll.

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---- Get AddToAny

56 Responses to “Packers 2013 NFL Draft: Day 1 Grade and Analysis”

  1. Nick Perry says:

    I love the pick! The way the draft fell couldn’t have been better. I knew Ted wouldn’t draft Lacy and thank god he didn’t, not with the 26th pick. Like Marques said, Jones has the room to add 15 pounds on that frame. When they were on the clock, I thought it would be Williams from North Carolina, Jones, Minter, or even Elam. Jones was the pick.

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  2. Hank Scorpio says:

    I thought the Packers had a lot of wants but not many needs. Help up front on either side was closer to need among the wants. I still wouldn’t have minded them trading back for more day 2 picks but it is hard to argue with help up front.

    The addition of Jones makes it more likely they will play more 3 man DL fronts, which is a very good thing, IMO.

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  3. Ryan says:

    I knew Ted had to draft someone out of left field, Sylvester Williams and Eddie Lacy were too main stream for us. Glad he chose Jones. Looking forward to seeing what he can do in practice!

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      left field? I thought he was the obvious choice if available. Packers were surprised he was,(per Ted Thompson).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Batavia Greg says:

        In my opinion, it had to have been a close call between Jones and Sylvester Williams. I’m not so sure that, if I were TT, I would have selected Jones.

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        • Ron LC says:

          I than the ootball gods you are not TT. Has all the physical attribes needed and speed and strength to boot.

          A very good pick.

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          • Stroh says:

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            • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

              You can choose between the judgement of Stroh or Dom Caper/Ted Thompson/the Packers strength and conditioning staff who believe Jones can add more weight while stil be explosive. Also the Packers say they want to run the ball, but you should know better than taking either Thompson’s or McCarthy’s statements at face value.

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              • Dobber says:

                MM said he wanted to run the ball when he took the job way back in the day. Turns out TT knows how to identify WR in the draft and they happened into a second elite passer. I hate that the Packers are a finesse team, but they’re successful at it. Who am I to argue?

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              • Stroh says:

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        • Stroh says:

          I agree. Close call and I would have taken Sly Williams too.

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    • Dobber says:

      So glad they didn’t take Lacy. Kiper was blowing his horn and it made me nervous when the pick went to the podium. I don’t see him flourishing in the Packer scheme.

      I’m expecting Leveon Bell’s name to come up in round 2.

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      • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

        Le’Veon Bell is very much a possibility in round two. I’d be surprised if they don’t go WR and/or RB on Day 2.

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        • Dobber says:

          Like I said before: I’m not a big fan of Bell, myself, but he’s a solid guy based on versatility and being ready to contribute now. I think WR is a bigger need early.

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        • Stroh says:

          He’s a possibility. I would have him a ways down my list in the 2nd. I would much rather get him at the end 3rd. I think that’s where he fits. 2nd seems pretty early for Bell.

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      • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

        Mayock was doing the same on the NFL Network. Also Marshall Faulk was a sad panda when no running back was taken

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  4. packett says:

    I’m glad for the pick. But, was hoping for Ogletree to come in and put some fear in the middle of the field with pursuit and toughness. Doesn’t seem like many agree with me on Ogletree. But also seems like not many feel a ILB should be snapped up next in round two. what is opinion on ILB as next need up, and am I wrong in thinking that a good pick here makes the biggest upgrade on the whole D?

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    • Dobber says:

      Glad they didn’t bite on Ogletree. He looks like a disaster to me…”the next Rolando McClain”, huh, Al?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

        Lot’s of concern over his off-field issues. He’s a mid first-round talent, but you see how he’s dropped…

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        • Stroh says:

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      I don’t think anyone has an issue with his talent, it’s more the fact that you can’t count on him every Sunday because he’s likely to be in jail or suspended.

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  5. topgbpackfan says:

    Think Jones met need Packers have. Would like to see go offense in Rds 2 &3. Would be great to pick up Lacy or Ball. Would also be good if Pack could pick up a quality center in Rd3. Need to protect the”franchise”. Having Lacy in backfield will keep opposing D’s honest and reduce Cover 2 cverage. Also with Saturday being retired and Dietrich-Smith as unproven we need a quality cneter (Barrett Jones?). Other 3rd round choice could be another D-lineman because I think this will be Pickett’s last year and Raji is in contract year. Other options are another TE. If Jeremichael “Hands of Stone” Finley makes unreasonable contract demands or Pack tires of his drops we would have his replacement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • Dobber says:

      Predicting RB (Bell) or WR (Patton) in Rd. 2. Not due to any great insight on my own, but rather because they bit on DL early and will need an offensive playmaker now…that and the fact that I’ve seen this on a couple other sites.

      Not afraid to own that I’m using others’ guesses.

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      • PackersRS says:

        Personally would love a quality safety or an interior Olineman.

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        • Dobber says:

          I think we’ve hit the stage where there’s enough depth at those positions that you can get quality guys into round 5.

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  6. Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

    When value meets need, then it’s a great thing.

    As for Cordarrelle Patterson, he was on my FUBAR list. While the Packers might have been able to refine him, the scouting notes I’ve read have made it seem like he could potentially end up being “Finley-esque.” Athletically gifted, but lacking the refinement to make it really worthwhile. Is that what we would have wanted in a No. 1 pick?

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    • Marques Eversoll Marques Eversoll says:

      Chad, I think Patterson may have been worth a roll of the dice. He’s certainly got some question marks regarding his mental capacity and inexperience, but he’s not the off-field train wreck that Ogletree is. Patterson is the best WR prospect in the last two years, IMO.

      Raw right now, but if given the chance to develop, he could be another Demaryius Thomas or even Julio Jones. He’s that talented, IMO.

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      • Chad Toporski Chad Toporski says:

        You may be right. I’m going off of what I’ve read, since I don’t really have any visual experiences to take from.

        I just hope I’m right since the Vikings took him. ;-)

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is that in the best case scenario the Vikings 3 1st round picks become stars and then the Vikings are screwed because they have 3 star 1st round players all looking for big contracts at the exact same time. 2018 is going to screw the team from a financial standpoint if everything goes well.

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  7. SchenySchen says:

    I love the pick. I think Round 2 has WR written all over it. I would love to see Patton get to us. Still think round 2 or 3 is too high for RB for us. Could see them picking someone up later. I won’t be surprised if we go into camp with Harris,Benson as the main cogs. Give Green one more year to develop and give the boot to Starks. — An opening day front 7 of Jones/Raji/Picket,CMIII/Bishop/Hawk/Perry seems pretty good. GoPack!

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    • Dobber says:

      I think Benson was actually getting his legs when he got hurt last year. Was catching the ball more than he had in the past, too. I wouldn’t be too upset to see him back to keep it warm for a year while the Packers address other needs this year.

      That would be what the journeymen FA are meant to do.

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      • SchenySchen says:

        I think WR is more important right now than RB. I also think a 3rd on a tight end or a versatile OL (Quissenberry) would be fine with me as well. I am ok with us moving forward with Benson/Harris. GoPack!

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  8. Don "Yoop" Christensen Yoop says:

    I am VERY happy with this pick. Maxed out? Far from it. A cpl extra Gilbert burgers he is 290# easy. NFL training and him still filling out his frame he is 290 to 295 and not lose his 4.75 speed or 1.61 ten yard quickness.
    He was productive at 283# playing the 3 technique at UCLA that shows what his strength level is.

    Just think back to what the Read Option did to the defense. SPEED is what was needed.
    Jones gives them that, and he has Linebacker agility. Capers can use him all over the field, he is athletic enough to drop in to coverage. Strong enough to play inside and he is the perfect fit for a 3-4DE. Comes NFL ready too.

    Now today the biggest need is a OLB with SPEED. There is no one behind Matthews and Perry except a UDFA from last year in Moses.
    Thank you God that Walden is gone and Zombo could not stay on the field, they have to get a guy that can spell both Perry and Matthews and IMO one with coverage ability.

    I like Jamie Collins with the second round pick, he gives them SPEED, coverage ability, pass rush, Agility to track down those read option QB’s on 3rd down.

    Then later one of the athlete Safeties, Josh Evans, Earl Wolff, Cody Davis, JJ Wilcox, Duke Williams.

    After that they can be all offensive picks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Dobber says:

      Given that CMIII seems to miss a couple games per year with noncontact injuries, I can see making this kind of pick, but would you want to use a #2 on a guy who you don’t want to have to use? You’ve already got 2 OLB who you plan to keep on the field on passing downs. This guy then becomes your situational coverage ‘backer?

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    • Stroh says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • Stroh says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. CSS says:

    Greg Cosell actually compared Datone Jones to ‘a smaller Richard Seymour…’ after watching his game tape. High praise.

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    • Stroh says:

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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      • Dobber says:

        What’s Christmas morning like in the Stroh household? ;)

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      • CSS says:

        Cosell watches film for a living and is referencing style of play, disposition and power/suddenness. So yes, it is high praise.

        “Suddenly ist not quite so ‘high’ praise”.

        How you could make the above statement after reading Cosell’s statement is beyond me. It’s not even tangential to what he was saying. Are you so eager to win at playing on the internet you fabricate shit? At this point, the sheer number of posts on the matter you’ve left here and on CheeseheadTV really make you look like an insecure teenager.

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        • Stroh says:

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          • CSS says:

            I think I’ll wait to see him actually play before giving anybody a definitive opinion about what he is or is not. I don’t argue from authority, which Cosell is, but I appreciate his viewpoint. What I don’t understand is why you’re so eager for other people to support your assertions? I’ll bet my last dollar that your opinion is based entirely off the scouting opinions of internet personalities and you haven’t watched a single full game of Jones. Others have pointed it out, but it’s really a turn-off when you speak in such definitive terms when assessing the translational skills of amateur players into the pros. Even the people that do if for a living struggle with the projections.

            I’m well aware of Seymour’s measurables as well as Jones, we can all google. Cosell had an observation regarding playing style, I found it interesting and repeated it. Why anything contrary to your ‘well informed opinion’ garners so much disdain from you is beyond me (and apparently 95% of this website and CheeseheadTV’s commenting community).

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            • Stroh says:

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              • CSS says:

                I’ll bow out and let you throw a temper tantrum against the rest of the forum. I’m not interested.

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            • Stroh says:

              FYI, I am not nor have ever been a person that looked for others to support or like my assertions/opinions. Maybe that the difference between us, you need others to like you and I don’t, IDK, or for that matter care.

              I accept you for you, maybe you should try to accept me for me.

              End of rant!

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              • CSS says:

                “FYI, I am not nor have ever been a person that looked for others to support or like my assertions/opinions…”

                That’s why 15 of the 51 comments on this thread are by you, right?

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              • Stroh says:

                Do any of my comments really give you the impression that I’m looking for your approval? Its not about the number of comments its the content.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

        • Stroh says:

          What quote? I would love to actually read the article/scouting report. CBS compares him to Robert Ayers, lets hope Jones at least outplays him.

          Please post a link to Cosells saying that about Jones. I would love to read the article.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. Dobber says:

    One of the real pluses in my mind to the Jones pick (which I’m only lukewarm on…they could’ve done much worse) is that the Packers are developing a deep rotation on the DL, which will be important for a defense that is likely to see a lot of snaps in 2013.

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    • Stroh says:

      Assuming they keep all those players they have a strong rotation. Raji, Pickett, Neal, Jones, Worthy, Daniels Wilson. They usually only keep 6 DL, tha means that either Wilson or Daniels is on the outside looking in, when Worthy returns (hopefully mid season). Wilson is a run stuffer that none of the pass rushers can match, that leaves Daniels out? Which I have a hard time seeing Thompson doing. I’m guessing they’ll draft another DL at some point that will be given a development year. I like Nick Williams who actually has prototypical 34 DE size and is a tremendous athlete.

      http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/2009342/nicholas-williams

      Cant say I’ve seen him play, no film, highlites I could find. But 6’5 310 long arms, and ran 4.85 40 w/ a 1.70 10 split. 25 lbs bigger than Jones and he ran only .10 behind Jones.

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    • Stroh says:

      I just hope a 1st round pick is more than another guy in the rotation! IMO a 1st should be an everydown player and hopefully a playmaker.

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  11. Scott1956 says:

    Just what in TT’s drafting for the last 7 years, gives you guys all this confidence? He’s had all this time, and God knows how many draft choices on both lines. And both lines have been the weakness of this team for YEARS! We heard last year, after he drafted a couple of D-Linemen, how much better they will be because the talent he drafted. The only D-Lineman he has drafted that is any good is Raji. And he’s not that good. The rest are just guys. And he’s been doing it for years. He drafts undersized linemen, then everybody on these boards say, in unison, that he’ll put on weight and be the guy! And it NEVER happens! It’s getting a little old listening to everybody say how great TT is at drafting. He can draft WR’s and DB’s. He’s very good at those. The only lineman he’s drafted that’s actually really good is Sitton. Bulaga hasn’t done enough. His first year was a disaster, his second was good, and last year he got owned right out of the gate. And as soon as we played average teams, he played better. Then he broke his hip.

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  12. GBWest says:

    Bitches pah-lease!

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