McCarthy: Datone Jones Moving Outside

The former first round pick will be moving to the elephant position in Dom Capers' defense. 

From Wes:

While it went largely unremarked upon during the season, Datone Jones spent a good deal of the second half of last season standing up and playing the elephant in Dom Capers' scheme. 

How often was he out there? Bill Huber has a nice breakdown, courtesy of PFF. 

According to data provided courtesy of Pro Football Focus, Jones played 156 snaps at outside linebacker during the final 10 games (including playoffs). Compare that to a total of 88 snaps at defensive end for the entire 18-game season. After averaging 19.0 snaps per game to start the season, Jones' playing time increased to 29.8 snaps per game for the final 10 games.

It seems pretty clear the Packers liked what they saw on tape. It also seems pretty clear that with Jones transitioning outside, B.J. Raji stepping away from football and Mike Pennel suspended for the first four games of the season, Ted and the personnel group will be looking long and hard at some big heavies in the draft to help fortify the defensive line. Thankfully, this is draft class is arguably deepest in that exact area

It also seems that Jones is embracing the idea...

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Comments (38)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

March 22, 2016 at 09:21 pm

Sounds like GB has little to no interest in Neal. Datone in some measure replaces Neal. I do hope the move is because Datone can do well at elephant and not because they have given up on him as a base 3-4 DE (though I think GB has abandoned that) and it saves paying Neal. I would not say that Datone is a anywhere near a bust, but now he has only one year to provide above average play while still on his rookie contract.

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croatpackfan's picture

March 23, 2016 at 04:03 am

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/mike-mccarthy-wants-to-boost-pass...

In this article they are claiming that there is the interest to re-sign Mike Neal!

Check it!

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lebowski's picture

March 22, 2016 at 09:50 pm

Injuries screwed up the transition to the NFL for Datone, Perry and Neal alike. All had promise, all seem a bit misplaced as big outside linebackers, but if ya can't keep 'em all, I understand Ted sticking with the young guys.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Forgive me if I am not terribly excited that they struggle to figure out how to get value out of yet another first round defensive player.

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dobber's picture

March 22, 2016 at 10:43 pm

You have to ask the question: if they're serious about moving CMIII back outside full-time, why continue to experiment with Jones on the outside where his snaps will be severely limited with Peppers and Perry also out there?

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Carlos Danger's picture

March 22, 2016 at 11:07 pm

It is all about having a healthy rotation. Look at the broncos who have talented pass rushers behind Ware and Miller. Clay plays hard and Peppers in better with less snaps. If Datone can give them a breather while still being effective himself, the defense as a whole improves.

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Bearmeat's picture

March 22, 2016 at 10:48 pm

Yeah. It's good they're trying to get something out of Datone, but it's pretty clear at this point that he is yet another front 7 fail by TT. He'll be an elephant this year. He'll struggle to cover, and I'm not sure he can rush effectively from a 2 point stance either. But at least he won't be a liability in the running game anymore. He should be able to set a stern edge at his weight. I'd expect a mediocre (4-5 sacks and 40 tackles or so) from Datone, along with some embarrassing moments in coverage. And I expect he won't be tendered (thank goodness) and will leave GB after the year is up.

He should have been a 43 DE or a 43 under DT. He never did have the strength to be a 5 Tech DT in the 34. Yet another failed conversion project on the front 7. Harell, Worthy, Perry, Thornton, Neal, Datone. That's a LOT of draft capital at DT and OLB for very little production.

It's sad that this is business as usual. Time to draft another. Hope TT finds a Daniels/CM3 type and not the previously mentioned overdrafted JAGs.

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PackerAaron's picture

March 23, 2016 at 05:58 am

"But at least he won't be a liability in the running game anymore."

He was actually quite good vs the run toward the end of '14 and throughout '15, when playing DE.

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Bearmeat's picture

March 23, 2016 at 07:50 am

Nags, you know football more than me, and you watch more of it because of your job, so I will defer to you here. But I have to say, Datone playing the run well as a base 5Tech is not what I remember seeing at any point. Weird.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

March 23, 2016 at 11:18 am

"And I expect he won't be tendered (thank goodness) and will leave GB after the year is up."

Hey at least when Thompson doesn't bother fixing his mistake with a veteran who can play the Packers will get a 2018 6th round Draft pick to make it all worth it!

Also, Aaron Rodgers will be only 35 years old when they get that rookie 6th rounder so let's be patient with draft and develop as the only strategy to build the team.

By the way, If you are not OK waiting for this Bullshit Scenario that Thompson is sure to invoke to fail you are a horrible Packer fan and wants the Packers to be crippled with 100's of Millions in dead money because the only other option is to be as stupid in free agency as the Lions and the Redskins

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Mojo's picture

March 22, 2016 at 11:33 pm

I took the time to see what DAT-ONE ran at the combine. He ran a 4.80 40 which isn't bad. That means he can keep up with let's say Richard Rodgers. Too bad he's his teammate.

My guess is he'll be a decent pass rusher, so-so holding the edge and terrible in coverage. And by the time he starts to get the hang of it - a FA.

He's going to half to drop some pounds and increase his endurance. Good luck with that. But considering the limited amount of contributions in his career so far maybe it's worth a look.

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Point Packer's picture

March 23, 2016 at 01:25 am

At least GB signed Trey True, I mean Gary Drew, I mean Rod Carew.....Ray Drew, thats it. Now I remember.

Huge and productive off-season for GB. Looks like we'll go 11-5 and lose in the playoffs and waste one more year of #12 in his prime.

Awesome. And no, I don't accept just being "Good".

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Amanofthenorth's picture

March 23, 2016 at 06:36 am

I would just like to interrupt here and tilt my class to Rod Carew. A great hitter, even if we was on the wrong side of the Mississippi...and a wonderful last out in the most gut wrenching and memorable baseball game of Cheesehead's lives.

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marpag1's picture

March 23, 2016 at 02:02 am

This really isn't news, since it was clear already last year that the Packers were shifting him outside. I agree with this, although I don't see any reason to get terribly excited about it, either.

Let's face it. Jones never did jack to make anyone excited as a DE. He's too small for a 3-4 DE, and probably doesn't have the frame to easily pack on 30 extra pounds. He was clearly more productive from the elephant position. As for being a liability in coverage, Jones won't be in coverage any more than Peppers or Neal were ... which is somewhere between rarely and never. And they can still shift him inside on passing downs if they want to.

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Evan's picture

March 23, 2016 at 08:04 am

"He's too small for a 3-4 DE"

If true, then so is JJ Watt and Justin Smith.

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Bearmeat's picture

March 23, 2016 at 08:10 am

That should read: "He's not strong enough for a 34 DE." He's the same size as the guys mentioned above, but both could snap Datone in half.

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Evan's picture

March 23, 2016 at 08:17 am

Probably true.

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dobber's picture

March 23, 2016 at 09:09 am

Not just strength...J.J. Watt is a relentless beast and has great length and leverage that Jones doesn't have. They're not even the same species.

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Hematite's picture

March 23, 2016 at 05:26 am

Still pounding square pegs into round holes.
A Packers trademark.

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holmesmd's picture

March 23, 2016 at 05:55 am

I like the move. I think he will be fine out there. He's actually a pretty decent athlete. He's strong and can run. Let's not get mired in offseason negativity fellas. Lol. The defense was the strength of this team last season FWIW. They will get a big sucker on the DL in the draft. I think Pennel will bea good player. Defense will be fine. Let's get the offense fixed!

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Packer_Pete's picture

March 23, 2016 at 06:10 am

You hit the nail on the head Holmes! The D was good enough to win it all. But all most posters do here is be critical of Dom and his D when the big problem last season was the inept O. Contrary to popular belief, #12 wasted a good year of D play, and not the other way round.

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Packer_Pete's picture

March 23, 2016 at 06:11 am

Ughhh - double post....

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 23, 2016 at 06:38 am

I like this move. I think it will put Jones more in a natural spot for him in this defense.

I kind of like the idea of having Peppers and Jones as OLB's, with Daniels and Guion as DT's in a Run based Nickel package. This will provide more strength for stopping the run but also gets good pass rushers on the field.

I think the Packers will need to find more size for the DL in this draft. Losing Raji, and moving Jones more to the Elephant End/OLB spot I think puts more need for the DL.
The good thing is the draft is very deep for the DL.

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L's picture

March 30, 2016 at 01:43 pm

My thoughts too.

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Lphill's picture

March 23, 2016 at 07:11 am

Maybe Ted should try a new approach like drafting players that actually play the position they were drafted for , enough experiments .

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RCPackerFan's picture

March 23, 2016 at 07:25 am

whats wrong with that. :)

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Bearmeat's picture

March 23, 2016 at 07:47 am

THIS

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Evan's picture

March 23, 2016 at 08:10 am

That will always be a problem with the 3-4 defense. Very few colleges run it.

That said, if memory serves, UCLA actually did run the 3-4 and Jones played the DE there. So, he did play the position he was drafted for.

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dobber's picture

March 23, 2016 at 09:20 am

More and more colleges run it each year. It's not as underrepresented as it once was. The issue is that the pool of 3-4 college players, especially at DL, is shallow in terms of guys who can hold up in the trenches at the pro level against big, fast, strong OL. The outside rushers in college 3-4 tend to be way too light in the pants, or just not athletic enough, to hold up against the run.

It really doesn't matter which scheme you're talking about, the draft is about projecting guys out and finding players who make you better 2-8 years down the road. Coaches need to make that happen, but players also need to commit to making that happen. It's not just on the GM.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

March 23, 2016 at 09:49 pm

Spot on @Dobber. I totally agree.

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Nick Perry's picture

March 24, 2016 at 05:58 am

Your memory is spot on Evan, in fact one of the reasons the Packers were so hign on Jones was he played in Jim Mora's 3-4 Defense which in many ways was like Capers. I remember reading several pieces after the draft about how quickly Jones would pick up the Capers defense.

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Hematite's picture

March 25, 2016 at 10:06 am

What!
You don't like the square peg, round hole approach to team building?

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scullyitsme's picture

March 23, 2016 at 09:00 am

Sounds like Datone is in for a breakout year! I believe.

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lou's picture

March 23, 2016 at 06:10 pm

The beat writers for the Press Gazette, Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel etc can get a day off now, all they need to do is change the date on the "Datone Jones Is Ready For A Breakout Year" stories after picking their favorite one they did each of the last 3 years and publish it.

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Tarynfor12's picture

March 23, 2016 at 10:14 am

Yet many still think a true olb is not a need. The moment Matthews needs to go back inside opposing QB will seen aging before our eyes with the time given them by our highly misrepresentation of a pass rush...heck, even with Matthews time is more often than not in their favor. But another 1st rd bust, in regard to his position/reason drafted there, is now an experiment that is a mere repeat of prior failings.

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Rossonero's picture

March 23, 2016 at 09:58 pm

Glad to see Jones is getting started on conditioning now.

Random thought - JJ Watt is coming to Lambeau this season. Anybody think by the time he's a FA (and presumably sick of losing with the Texans), that the Packers could lure him to Green Bay a la Reggie White? Eliot Wolf might be GM by then too.

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stockholder's picture

March 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Every-year we get close to going to the super-bowl. We patch and replace guys with out of position talent. TT has my respect, but Datone Jones was not suppose to be a patch, or Depth. He was a #1 that should have made the pro Bowl. The slower your the elephant, the faster your ILBs have to be. I think TT has worked this job long enough not to be Hans Brinker. It's time to draft 3 down Linebackers.

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3rdigraphics's picture

March 24, 2016 at 12:54 pm

The packers lead the league in drafting tweener defensive players then switch their position 2-3 years into their career (at least it seems that way)

I think MM/TT are trying to get out in front of a changing league, meaning everything is so damn pass happy that it's imperative that you get guys that are big, fast and could cover a handful of times a game. Those kinds of guys don't grow on trees though...

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