Packers take Datone Jones to boost defensive front at 26
Bound and determined to reinforce their depleted defensive line, the Green Bay Packers opted for the height and athleticism of UCLA end Datone Jones over the versatility and power of North Carolina's Sylvester Williams Thursday night in the first round of the National Football League draft. Jones, 6 feet 4 inches and 280 pounds, is the prototypical base end that teams with 3-4 schemes crave but the Packers have played without for the last four seasons. Williams (6-2½, 313), who went two picks later to Denver at No. 28, offered more run-stopping potential but wasn't as dangerous in the pass rush. "I liked him," general manager Ted Thompson said, referring to Williams. "We liked him. "We talked about (Jones') length. I don't think that can drive your decision. But we were looking for something a little bit different than what we have." The Packers started C.J. Wilson (6-3, 300) at base end most of last season with Mike Neal (6-3, 295) in reserve. Ryan Pickett (6-2, 335) and B.J. Raji (6-1½, 337) shuffled back and forth between nose tackle and three-technique defensive tackle in the 3-4. Jerel Worthy, the team's second-round pick a year ago, stands 6-2½ and late in the season weighed about 285. "We added another good athlete and a guy with a little bit more speed," said Thompson. "When you can add a little speed to the defense, we feel it's a good idea." Jones runs 40 yards in 4.80 seconds compared to 5.01 for Williams and 5.05 for Worthy. At UCLA, Jones, a fifth-year senior, had 13½ sacks in 51 games (43 starts) and 36½ tackles for loss. With Worthy doubtful to play a contributing role in 2013 because of reconstructive knee surgery in mid-January, Jones will be expected to become an immediate fixture in the nickel defense alongside either Neal or Raji. "He's explosive off the line of scrimmage," said Thompson. "He's got the ability to close on the ball. He's a good-looking kid. He's an athletic guy."
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