Defensive end Datone Jones had a birthday on Wednesday, and he celebrated by signing a rookie contract with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers' first-round pick in the 2013 draft has agreed to a four-year, $7.716 million deal, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
The signing comes just in time for Jones to attend the Packers' training camp, scheduled to begin on Friday.
Jones, the 26th overall pick back in April, is a powerful, 6'4, 383-pound end out of UCLA. Though he lacks the speed and agility to be a consistent threat as a true pass rusher off the edge, his strength and size make him an ideal fit for the Packers' 3-4 defense, a scheme which calls for ends to act largely as run-stoppers or to eat up blocks and allow linebackers to penetrate.
That ability, coupled with the team's lack of depth at the end position, means Jones has a strong shot at becoming the Week 1 starter. SB Nation's Packers blog, ACME Packing Company, predicts that Jones will start opposite of Ryan Pickett on the defensive line, but explains he'll most likely split significant time with veteran Mike Neal.