The Chargers scouts chatted up with UCLA DE Datone Jones this week at the Senior Bowl practices, per Draft Countdown. Jones has been destroying blockers this week at practice and he was one of the few players that did well against Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher.
Jones could be a possibility with our 2nd round draft pick. He finished last season as a defensive end, but has also been used as a defensive tackle with UCLA. If drafted, he could be used in the rotation on our defensive front and can be used at either the nose or on the ends. Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes will be the starters off of the end, but backup Vaughn Martin is a free agent.
In the middle, the Chargers have Cam Thomas and Aubrayo Franklin is a free agent. Antonio Garay is still under contract, but he is a candidate to get released. Jones could be a nice addition to that rotation.
Here is the analysis from Rob Rang of CBS Sports on Datone Jones:
STRENGTHS: Versatile, has started at tackle and at defensive end. Has the combination of bulk, strength and athleticism to handle the end position. Thickly-built frame with broad shoulders and has packed on as much muscle as possible to his body. He is extremely active with a quick first step and explosive closing burst, attacking blockers with power and speed. Good short-area burst off the edge, and wins with strength and quickness at the point of attack. Load to handle because he is so relentless, making offenses plan for him on every snap. Adds value as a potential impact player blocking kicks on the field-goal unit.
WEAKNESSES: Versatility can also be a detriment, as it’s difficult to classify his best position. While he has a striking physique, Jones isn’t the biggest or strongest of the highly-rated defensive linemen in this class.