Datone Jones vs Nebraska, Rice and Houston

I’ve been away with work today so haven’t got a great deal of time to dedicate to a big piece. I wanted to put some tape on the blog though, specifically of UCLA’s Datone Jones. One of the big issues with Jones is working out what position he’ll play at the next level. Can he get bigger to play early downs at tackle in a 4-3? Is he stout enough to act as a five technique in a 3-4? Is he troublesome enough to play as an orthodox defensive end?

Despite a great showing at the Senior Bowl plus some decent 2012 tape, teams are going to wonder where exactly he fits. It probably doesn’t help that he pretty much lined up everywhere for the Bruins rather than featuring in one defined position.

He might end up being at his best in Seattle’s ‘Jason Jones’ role. Is he purely a nickel pass rusher? I think you could make an argument for that. And it’ll limit his stock if most teams see him as mostly a third down/passing down pass rusher. Right now I’d grade him as a late second or third rounder. If he’s there at #56, do you consider adding him to replace Jones? Or do you think he could potentially act as a three technique?

Jones shows a good burst, an ability to work into the backfield and he can be disruptive. He also struggles to track the ball, finish plays and he’s more disruptive by his presence rather than actually made the key tackle.

Have a look at the tape and let me know what you think.


  1. Colin

    He’s a solid 2nd round option. I think you’re limited to the Jason Jones role as a pass rusher if you want him to play inside. He is intriguing to think of in Red Bryant’s spot, but the Seahawks have clearly shown they want large size at that position, although I’m not convinced he couldn’t man the position in a pinch.

    Really intriguing prospect. He plays with great leverage, good burst off the ball and doesn’t end up on the ground hardly at all. Great films Rob.

  2. Chris

    Like him a lot, but unfortunately outside of a pass rush DT I don’t know where he’d play as long as Red is on the roster and Pete wants to go super-sized at the 5tech. Looks like a man without a non-specialist position.

  3. Zach

    2nd round steal.

  4. LadyT

    Yes please this guy can pass rush. That is very valuable.

  5. Trudy Beekman

    Kid is a monster. He seems solid off the edge, but I didn’t see much bend or beating tackles around the corner. Elite closing speed. Probably at his best shooting gaps inside and can hold his ground when he gets locked up, though he has a tendency to get high. Good hands and plays with a ton of upper body power. More footage of him coming unabated than you see against double teams, but I imagine this would be a weakness as he was streaky holding up in 1-on-1’s. Didn’t see much in the way of him getting locked up and collapsing the pocket by moving his blocker back. Not too impressed with his run-stopping. A true tweener, but he might be able to put on some weight:

    “Mike Loyko @NEPD_Loyko

    datone Jones just won the weigh in 6041 280 huge bottom huge chest not an ounce of fat”

    I think the Jason Jones role is the only fit for the Seahawks right now, and it will be interesting to see how he shows up to the combine. His best bet would be to come 10-15 pounds heavier to really warrant looks at 3/5-tech. If that were to happen, he wouldn’t last until our 2nd Round pick, and taking him at 25 seems high if guys like Short are still on the board. Don’t know that I even like him as much as a Jordan Hill right now, but has more upside with his measureables.

  6. Brian

    Lots of great play . . . and lots of bad thrown in as well. For a third round pick I like him. I’m not sure about a second round pick though; there should still be some good receiver talent on the board in the second round since this draft is so deep at both TE and wideout.

  7. David

    If we go DT or just defense in the 1st, id love wheaton in the 2nd if hes there

    Rob what do you see Markus Wheatons potential as?

    I see them goin for a big WR or TE though, just because of their history for taking shots on those guys (Edwards, Owens, Durham and Winslow)

  8. Michael

    Rob, just read a great article over at field gulls about Phillip Steward (LB Houston) and he looked pretty incredible. Have you had a chance to look at him at all? If so, your thoughts?

    • Phil

      Just read the Phillip Steward article on Field Gulls and then this one too. http://www.footballoutsiders.com/futures/2013/futures-houston-lb-phillip-steward

      How can guys with so much talent go unnoticed? I guess that’s the point of the Field Gulls article.

      The tape of the UCLA/Houston game is striking. I wondered why the tape was 9 minutes long and after watching it I’ve concluded that it’s because Steward was in on just about every defensive play. He looks like he can do it all — being a stand-up, edge pass rusher (11 sacks in 2012) to dropping back in coverage (look at the way he neutralizes 6’8″ Fauria).

      • Rob Staton

        I watched the Steward video that materialised this week and there is a lot to like about his tape. However, a lot of his responsibility is to blitz. I’ve not watched a linebacker who blitzes as much as Steward, it’s almost the majority of his snaps. He rushes so much. And at the next level, he’s not going to be able to do that. So while he’s athletic enough to warrant late round consideration as an athletic WILL, he’s also not going to have quite as much success at the next level playing that way. He’s an interesting guy though, could be a nice later round sleeper.

        • Christon

          He does blitz a lot but he also lines up over the TE/Slot WR. If the Hawks did draft Phillip Steward, he looks like he could compete with Winston Guy at the “Big Nickel” position, so at least they have a position for him. But I agree, I don’t think the Hawks would draft him until late (5th or 6th)

          • Kenny Sloth

            He has late second potential, but I wouldn’t take him until the fourth. I think that pick would be the typical Seahawks media ‘headscratcher’. I really want that Walter Stewart guy. He’s looks like Chris Clemons on-tape.

            • Phil

              Kenny – if you mean Walter Stewart from Cincinnati, he broke his back and “retired” from football. See http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2012/10/30/3575824/walter-stewart-injury-spine-cincinnati-football

              • Kenny Sloth

                I actually meant the sixth high steward of Scotland..

                You’re shitting me. I need to do my homework better. That’s a shame. His tape was phenomenal.


              • Kenny Sloth

                Well, it seems that he is preparing for the combine, so he could still be picked up, probably even later than originally expected. If he is a UDFA, then I’d love for this team to take a flier on him.

      • A. Simmons

        Sounds like LB and Leo depth pick. If the guy can rush and play LB, might be a good pickup for us. We can use those kind of players in some packages.

  9. Kenny Sloth

    So, I’ve seen a TON of complaints about Datone Jones size, or lackthereof, butwha remember . This front office is determined to look at what a player can do, rather than what he can’t.
    What can he do?

    He CAN hold the point of attack inside. He CAN beat guys one on one. He CAN split the gaps better than anyone not named Will Sutton. That sounds like what we want right now, and if he’s available in the second. I can easily see this front office taking a shot on him.

    I’m just a highschool senior. This is only my second year ‘scouting’ or attempting to. I could be way off on this assessment, but Jones has a ton of upside. Especially if he’s there in the third. I wouldn’t let him get past me.

  10. Kenny Sloth

    Yeah, I just don’t see the deficiencies that are causing you trepidation with this player. I get that he’s undersized, but he doesn’t play like it.

    • Colin

      I don’t think he is starting Defensive Tackle material in a 4-3 scheme, and I would be real hesitant to start him as a 5 tech in a 3-4. There’s no doubting his potential, but I don’t think you can warrant a 1st rounder on him. For the Seahawks I’d consider him a 3rd round option IMO.

      • Kenny Sloth

        Why wouldn’t he work in a 4-3? I haven’t seen anything that makes me think he couldn’t work out. No-one’s said a reason why. He shows on tape that he can more than hold the point of attack. This reminds me of the detractors of Russell before the draft. “This guy won’t fit here because he’s 10 pounds lighter than we want”.
        The FO won’t look at it that way.

        • Chris

          Because he doesn’t have enough sand in his pants to play as an every down 3tech, only on passing downs. I think your opinion that he can “more than hold the point of attack” is a bit unique. To me he looked like he could be pushed around sometimes in 1v1s, and when double teamed he was soundly manhandled. He also seems to have problems finding the ball.

          5tech would be a possibility for some teams, but not in Seattle. On 1st and 2nd down (“run” downs) the team is committed to Red Bryant, and in passing situations they look to replace Red with the best pure pass rusher they can find (Raheem Brock, Irvin). Jones might be decent against the run and decent at rushing the passer at the 5tech, but he isn’t better against the run than Red, and he won’t be better rushing the passer than whoever they end up choosing as their 3rd down specialist this offseason.

          Thus, he has no real position on the Hawks to play to warrant a 1st round pick.

          • Kenny Sloth

            I didn’t see him getting pushed back rarely ever, but I will agree with your sentiment that he has trouble keeping track of the ball. I just see his ability to get upfield as too great to pass up on.

        • Colin

          Well, you do have to consider who the Big Dog in this division is right now. Iupati, Goodwin and Boone are MASSIVE on that offensive line. You’d have to be damn certain this kid wouldn’t get blown up everytime. I’m not convinced he is a starting D tackle. I think he is guy best used as a pass rusher, and if Seattle took him in RD 2, I’d be squealing like a little girl.

  11. Christon

    I don’t see the Hawks drafting Jones. Pete’s fundamental plan is to run the ball and stop the run. The 9ers would run the ball down our throats if he was an every down player and do we really want to spend another high pick on a guy that is only going to play a handful of plays a game? I’ll admit that he holds his own in run support when teams run East to West, but when they run North to South at him? He gets blown up consistently one-on-one. He constantly splits gaps but he doesn’t necessarily shoot through gaps either. I would argue that splitting gaps is his best ability because I don’t see him bull rushing linemen into the QB or beating them inside/outside with swim moves, or an an electric edge rush. He just pushes against a gap to get to the QB. Does he have enough quickness or suddenness to get to a quick release QB like Rogers or Brady? I don’t see it. I would much rather spend a few dollars and resign Jason Jones (or someone similar) because I don’t think Dantone Jones is the answer we are looking for. Again, I really hope Kawaan Short is still on the board at #25 because I don’t see any other all around 3 tech’s in this draft that has as much potential. We need to have pass rushing threats inside on first and second down too if our LEO (and other linemen) are going also have success rushing the passer – which will help set up long down and distances on 3rd down for the Jason Jones/Bruce Irvins to come in and be successful.

  12. Mike Chan

    He’s so f*****g good.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Took the asterisks right out of my mouth.

  13. Charlie

    Theoretical Question, if Kenny Vaccaro and Matt Elam are both available at 25, are either players talented enough to warrant BPA if the top DLine are gone? Or are the top linebackers similarly talented at a position of greater need? I just think Kam would be better playing jeron johnsons role as the third safety, and if a guy like elam or vaccaro have that all-pro ability, it could be a great asset, albeit potentially overkill

    • MJ

      Vaccaro Without hesitation. He is so good in coverage, whilst providing in the run game. I think he will surprise people by going top 15. He’s ridiculously good in coverage. Obviously extremely valuable in today’s game.

    • Rob Staton

      I don’t think either player would be worth taking in that scenario.

  14. Kenny Sloth

    Man, teams are running away from him. If he’s there in the third, take him without hesitation. I’d even consider him at 56 or wherever we pick in the second.

  15. A. Simmons

    Can’t this guy add any size with an NFL conditioning and nutrition program? Almost every player once he enters the NFL adds some size due to NFL level training and nutrition. And they age which almost always adds weight.

    • Rob Staton

      He could do but it’s worth noting he’s bigger now at about 280lbs than he’s ever been. He was down at 260ish at one time.

    • Kenny Sloth

      Plus, his frame seems pretty much maxed out.

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