I was able to hook up with our FanSided friends that run the Michigan Wolverines BLOG, GBMWolverine, and was able to get a little more information on our 2nd round draft pick, Jonas Mouton. Here is what they had to say:
GBMWolverine welcomes and sends best wishes to the San Diego Charger FanSided readers. The Midwest frequently gets to watch the Chargers and some of our staff fondly remembers the great fun of watching early AFL wild shootouts featuring John Hadl and Lance Alworth. And who can forget the famous Don Coryell offense, that to this day is on display in one form or another every Sunday of the NFL season. Below are the staff comments regarding inquiries concerning former Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton.
First off, charger nation is dumbfounded with the selection of Mouton in the second round, where did you project him to be drafted?
The GBMWolverine staff predicted Jonas as a mid to late 5th round, or early 6th round, choice and was surprised (close to shocked) when San Diego picked him with the 61st pick (2nd round) in the NFL draft. We are happy, very happy, for Jonas that he was selected this high, but we still maintain most NFL experts were, like us, predicting the 5th round or later. Here is another case study as to how evaluations and needs in the NFL are so diverse.
Every fan always wants a big fish (image and public perception) in the draft. And, of course, composite fan bases are elated when a player most thought to be ranked higher than actually drafted slips to their team. Perhaps the best example of this “steal” phenomenon in 2012 is the New England Patriots fans who are very happy that Ryan Mallet slipped from a high first round to a 3rd round pick. Ryan is the perfect example of a player with the top skill set and talent, but one with, shall we say, “questions.”
The San Diego Chargers clearly must have seen something they like in Jonas Mouton. There are clear cases in the NFL where assumed future potential trumps actual past achievement. Our staff assumes the Charger management believes that Mouton’s potential matches well the Charger defensive system.
Did the Chargers see something others missed, or did the team make a mistake taking Jonas this early? That will be determined several years down the road by whether he is still playing in the NFL and his collective contributions.
What kind of player/person should we expect coming out to San Diego?
Jonas is a hardworking player, who always gives great effort. He is not (in our view) an elite level athlete, a trait that may limit his effectiveness in certain situations. Some portray Jonas as having superior speed; we have some doubt to this claim.
He is expected to switch from outside linebacker to inside linebacker for us, how do you think he will do with that transition?
At this time our staff members have clear doubt about Mouton playing inside at the NFL level. He is solid in zone coverage, but has problems keeping proper leverage, and taking on and shedding blockers. Jonas made improvements this year, but in the past offensive linemen seemed to stick to him.
He should be a solid special teams player and will deliver some good hits. That is probably something Chargers fans may not be excited about; taking a 2nd round pick for a high-level special teams player for the first couple of years.
We have heard, through draft coverage sources, that the Chargers have several linebackers listed as free agents and are/were likely looking for players to fill that position through the draft, since no trades, free agent signings, or undrafted player signings are currently allowed. In the course of events, this uncertainty may have greatly benefited Jonas
Any nicknames for him?
His teammates call him the “Assassin”.
What NFL player would he be most compatible to (past or present)?
A poor man’s Lofa Tatupu
Any other fun facts about Jonas we should know out here in San Diego?
Ron English, who was part of Coach Carr’s staff and is now the Eastern Michigan head coach, recruited Jonas. Coach English was Michigan’s link to California.
Jonas is from Venice Senior high school in Los Angles, California, a member of the 2006 recruiting class, and he committed to Michigan on February 1, 2006. He visited Michigan on September 9, 2005 when Michigan played Notre Dame.
Jonas was ranked very high as either a 5-star or a high 4-star safety coming out of high school, and had offers from USC, Texas, Oregon, Nebraska, LSU, and many others before deciding on Michigan.
Jonas red-shirted his freshman year as a safety, but outgrew the position and undertook a position switch to linebacker. He became a tweener.
The new position presented a bump in the learning curve. He also had to add bulk and strength. It took Jonas awhile to adjust, not only to the position, but also to the several different coaching transitions including a major change from Coach Carr to Coach Rodriguez, three defensive coordinators, and the installation of various schemes, perhaps none of which was perfect for Jonas. It is not unreasonable to discuss the above when evaluating Jonas throughout college.
Final Thoughts from GBMWolverine:
The NFL draft is a funny business, as sometimes players can work hard for 4-5 years on the college stage and may or may not produce. But sometimes this flat out does not matter. How a player performs on film may be trumped by out of pad workouts, interviews, or just flat showing great/measureable athleticism and blowing up at the NFL combine.
These are the type of picks that can make or break a head coach/general manager, whomever is deciding the picks, and as such the future of their team. Did the Chargers find a hidden gem or did they find pyrite (fool’s gold?
We here at GBMWolverine (www.GBMWolverine.com) have been following Jonas for a long time ever since his senior year in high school when he visited Michigan and later committed to Michigan. We wish him the best and hope he will have a long career in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. Keep in mind Jonas will work hard, is very coachable, will hit, had very good numbers in the tackle department and has the drive to get better. He has overcome a lot of adversity while at Michigan. Do not discount Jonas’ potential due to the past difficulties/deficiencies of the Michigan defense. Even in those dark times, Jonas did not fold his tent and modeled good leadership.
Written by GBMWolverine Staff