New Detroit Lions Defensive End Datone Jones Scouting Report

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After spending his first four seasons with Green Bay and most of this offseason with Minnesota, former first-round pick Datone Jones has found a new home in the NFC North. The 27-year-old free agent signed with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, after spending the first five weeks of the NFL season at home. After watching Jones over the summer, I was surprised he went this long without landing on a team.



Pro Position(s)

4-3/3-4 5T

Prospect (Last, First)

Jones, Datone

DOB (Age)

7/24/1990 (27)

Scout Name (Last, First)

Rossler, Bryce







Detroit Lions


Games Played Games Started Games Won Winning % Positions Started Captain
67 7 40 59.7% 3-4 DE/3-4 OLB No


INJURIES 2016: knee (Wk 3, missed one game)

2015: concussion (Wk 4, missed no games), neck (WC, DC, missed no games)

2014: ankle (Wks 6-8, 10, 12, missed three games)

2013: no injuries

KEY STATS 2016 – 1 sack (T-7th on team), 22 tackles (14th)

2015 – 3 sacks (T-5th), 20 tackles (17th)


Height Weight 40 YD 10 YD Arm Hand Vert 3Cone SS Broad Bench
6040 283 lbs. 4.8s 1.66s 32.75” 10” 31.5” 7.32s 4.32s 112” 29reps


TAPES VIEWED 2016: 11/6 vs. IND, 11/13 at TEN, 12/4 vs. HOU, 12/18 at CHI, 12/24 vs. MIN
BEST UOH, Mental processing, vs. Run
WORST Play strength, competitive toughness, bend
PROJECTION A solid starting 5T you can win with that wins with Mental processing and UOH, but struggles to turn the corner in pass rush and anchor against the run.
SCHEME Scheme-versatile, closed 5T that can play standing up or with a hand down in an odd or even front.



Fifth year defensive end who has started 7 of 67 career games, including 4 of 15 games in 2016. Played first four seasons in Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers’ 3-4 base scheme, that switches to a 2-4-5 in sub packages and uses a mix of 1- and 2-gap responsibilities, where he was used primarily as a standup and down 5T.

He has solid athletic ability with good quickness, adequate COD/balance, solid height/hand size, good weight, and adequate arm length. Displays solid upfield burst/ability to key the ball and good get-off. Jones demonstrates good mental processing. Good ability to play against the run and leverage his gap, and quickly diagnoses reach, trap, and base blocks.

Unleashes an arm over move to beat blockers trying to cross his face. Displays good UOH, utilizing a strong, initial punch and quick, active hands to shed blocks against the run/pass. Possesses a solid swim move for rushing the passer and displays solid ability to close and finish on the QB. Solid in pursuit, has good range for his size, and does a solid job of leveraging the ball. Has solid play speed.

Doesn’t consistently identify the ball carrier at the mesh point on zone reads and play action. Play strength is just adequate and struggles to anchor against double teams or convert speed to power against OL with good size/power. OL with a strong punch can redirect him and force him to take the long way to the QB.

Pass rushing ability is below average, demonstrates only adequate bend, doesn’t attack with a plan, and lacks a go-to counter move. Competitive toughness is adequate and his motor runs out through reps and he was not an impact player on 3rd downs/in the 4th quarter. Struggles to be effective on stunts due to adequate lateral quickness and difficulties converting speed to power.

Datone Jones is a solid starting 5T you can win with that wins with Mental processing and UOH, but struggles to turn the corner when rushing the passer and has difficulties anchoring against power. Doesn’t have an ideal athletic profile for an edge rusher and is already 27 years old, so has likely hit his ceiling already, but has value as a dependable, plug-and-play, scheme-versatile DE that has a well-rounded and sufficient skillset.

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