Originally Posted by Requiem
UCLA was running a 3-4 defense last year and Jones lined up everywhere on that line. How many 3-4 ends and nose tackles do you see having insane pass rushing numbers? Not many. The sheer fact that the dude had nearly 20 tackles for loss proves he has the ability to get in the backfield and make plays. If he was in a 4-3 defense where he could go after the quarterback more, he would have much better pass rushing numbers. His 2011 season was after a foot fracture, so that explains to me that he was still getting back in the groove after missing the 2010 season.
I would not bet against Datone Jones. He is extremely athletic, gets up the field quickly and disrupts the run and pass game well. He also puts his hands up and deflects balls if he knows he isn't going to make it to the QB. He is a cerebral player with a great mental grasp of the game. If the Broncos were willing to take a guy like Malik Jackson who had similar experience moving inside and out on their defensive fronts, I would expect Jones (who is a better prospect and just as versatile) to catch the eyes of the coaches.
Why people are getting caught up with the whole LDE/RDE, etc. thing is beyond me. If you don't think that the coaches can tweek schematics in order to play to the strengths of those on the field. . . well. . . I just don't know what to say. Jones is going to have a much better career as a pro if he stays at end and gets to grow there.
Will he ever be a 15+ sack guy in the NFL? Probably not. Few are. But I think the guy has the potential to be a complete end who offers quality support against the run and the pass. 8-10 sacks a year, but a lot of TFL and the ability to be more stout against the run than Dumervil was.
Just my 2 cents. As I said, pricejj needs to stop looking at just production and actually understand how scheme and player responsibility and assignments can impact that.
There is a HUGE difference between LDE and RDE in the hybrid 2-gapping 40 front we play. Wolfe plays LDE at nearly 300 pounds and has to handle the RT and TE in run blocking, whereas Dumervil played the RDE at around 255 pounds and only has to deal setting the edge against the LT. The play of Wolfe at LDE is all about setting up Von Miller to set the edge on that side and is a key factor in Miller getting so many tackles for loss. On the right side of the defense the linebackers are supposed to cover the interior gaps and Dumervil is supposed to force the run wide to allow either the will linebacker or free safety to come up if they run off tackle.
I don't know of a lot of teams that change their defense fundamentally to account for a player they draft, that just doesn't make a ton of sense. It makes much more sense to draft a player who fits what you are trying to do with the players you already have rather than drafting a player who doesn't fit that mould and having to change the players you have on the roster.
If we need a left end or we are switching to a 30 front then Datone Jones makes some sense, but he is just not quick enough to be a right defensive end. The difference between a tackle for loss and a sack is that you only need to be a yard behind the line for a tackle for loss, for a sack you need to be a full 5 steps or more into the backfield and the quickness that requires is on a whole different level.