The Green Bay Packers have some decisions to make in free agency. We wouldn’t exactly call them tough.
In fact, we’ll make a couple of them for them right now. Mike Neal: good riddance. Nick Perry: $1.2 million annually to be a solid backup.
That’s right, we’re talking about outside linebackers here.
Frankly, there’s no reason to believe the Packers will be any worse off at that position in 2016. In fact, they should be improved.
As we’ve detailed, Neal was fucking garbage in 2015, yet he played twice as many snaps as Perry, who was actually solid. That matters little though, since Clay Matthews is coming back to his beloved outside linebacker position in 2016.
The Packers are hoping Julius Peppers returns for another season to play on the other side, but he has so far been noncommittal.
Even if Peppers does return, he isn’t going to be playing 80 snaps a game. The Packers need some reinforcements.
Datone Jones may be that guy.
Forgot about him, didn’t you?
That’s because the Packers rarely used their 2013 first-round pick in 2015. Jones started the season on the defensive line, but suddenly started playing outside linebacker around the middle of the season.
That is, when the Packers could find snaps for him.
Jones’ snap counts from game to game were all over the place. He finished the season with 430, which is about what Perry had (411) and about half of what Neal and Peppers had.
You know what’s funny though?
Jones was actually the Packers’ highest-rated outside linebacker. Pro Football Focus graded him at 75.4, which is 2.2 points higher than Peppers.
Jones finished the season with 20 tackles, three sacks and three passes defended. Those aren’t what we’d call impressive numbers, but this was literally Jones’ best season.
He actually showed some promise for the first time since the Packers drafted him. And he did it at a position he was thrust into midseason.
When the season ended, Jones admitted he had no idea what was going on from one week to the next.
“Just a more consistent idea of what my role is,” Jones said. “Understanding it more and coming back next year with that mind-set and what my coaches give me to develop as a football player. I’m going to take all of the knowledge they give me and develop over these next four months.”
I mean, on one hand, this is typical fucking Packers.
“Hey, let’s draft this guy who plays one position and make him play a different one. Fuck, let’s throw him into that role midseason. He can learn it on the fly!”
It’s amazing that Jones took to the role like he did. That he was good at it.
It’s also amazing that the coaching staff didn’t put him on the field more often.
Somehow, Mike Neal was just too good to take out.
The Packers shouldn’t have that problem next year and Jones should get a legitimate shot. We’d love to see him develop into the playmaker he was drafted to be.
Not that it would happen but sign amhad Brooks Bruce Irvin Nick Perry. That would be a nice rotation with Matthews if Peppers doesn’t come back
So what happened to all that “fuck TT and Dumb Capers for drafting a player at one position and then converting them” talk?
Well it just happened to work out possibly this time even tho it only took them a year and a half to figure it out dumb ass
You called him a B-U-S-T and now you’re blaming the Packers for putting him in the wrong position?!! Unfucking believable. Wasn’t Randall a safety at Arizona before being drafted? What position does he play now, assclown?
This site is a ship of fools sailing a sea of shit and captained by a retard.
In a certain sense, you are right. The Datone Jones experiment panned out. However, first rounders are expected to contribute almost straight away, and it happened in his third year. Part of that delay is due to the fact that a talented 4-3 DE may or may not learn the OLB trade in a single camp.
Not bottom of the first round picks, especially not D-linemen, QBs, or WRs.
Datone Jones isn’t athletic enough