So now all the guess work is over and the NFL Draft is in the books. As I write this most Packers rookies are showing up for their first taste of an NFL OTA.
And it is obvious that unless I am going to be totally oblivious of my readers’ desires, which is not a good thing at all, I am going to have to relent of my “no Draft Grades” stance, at least relative to the PACKERS and the rest of the NFC North.
So let’s start right at the top of the list with the team that is the clear choice as “America’s Team”, to the vast majority of my readers.
GREEN BAY PACKERS 2013 DRAFT ANALYSIS
ROUND 1, PICK 26 DATONE JONES 6’4/283 UCLA 4.80/40 32 3/4” ARMS 10” HANDS
JONES selection may have been a slight surprise to some, but his name had been surfacing in talk of the PACK’s Draft plan on a regular basis over the final weeks leading up to the Draft. The team’s brain trust (THOMPSON&McCARTHY) clearly agreed in principle with a lot of the PACKERS fan base that the team needed more help for CLAY MATTHEWS in generating pressure on opposing QBs. Disrupting opposing backfields turned into a hobby for JONES last season under the new coaching staff at UCLA, led by veteran NFL Coach JIM MORA. He recorded 19 TFL and 6.5 Sacks in his final season for the BRUINS. He might be a bit light in the pants for an NFL 3-4 scheme, but he carries his current weight well and combines functional strength and quickness to keep from being engulfed by bigger OT. His 29 reps in the Bench Press at the COMBINE was impressive for his weight. He also shows solid hand work combining strength and quickness to keep blockers off balance. He had a very solid week of work in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. He excelled in practices and roamed the field effectively during the game. One would expect that DOM CAPERS will move JONES around and have him on the field even in his 2-man DL formations. He has experience all along the line and has more athleticism than the last guy the PACKERS selected to fill this role for them: MIKE NEAL. I would expect JONES and a healthy NICK PERRY to help CLAY MATTHEWS tremendously in the front 7 in 2013. Not a “special” player like MATTHEWS, but appears to be an excellent fit in the PACKERS schemes and should contribute right away as a Rookie.