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The Packers gave Datone Jones a new home on the outside, and opposing quarterbacks are going to pay

Jones never really had a good fit in Green Bay's defense, until now.

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones looks to be ready to really take off this season. He came out of college as a defensive end, but was maybe a little undersized to play as a five technique in a 3-4 which is what Green Bay has run forever. What Jones could always do, however, is pass rush, so that's kind of what he has been so far for them; a nickel pass rush guy ... and not much else. That looks like it's about to change.

What was interesting when watching film is that last season, when he was given some opportunities to play on early downs as a five technique, Jones did a pretty decent job of holding it down. He wasn't overwhelmed even though he was still a little undersized for the position. He even made some plays in the backfield.

Towards the end of the season the Packers started using him more as an outside linebacker, and even with the extra weight he had put on to play defensive end, he seemed to take to the new position pretty well.

That he played well, combined with the fact that they decided not to re-sign Mike Neal, led to Green Bay moving Jones to outside linebacker full-time this offseason. He has reportedly lost about 20 pounds, which should make him even more mobile now that he is back out on the edge of the defense, his more natural position.

With the Packers also moving Clay Matthews back to outside linebacker and Julius Peppers returning for another year there, it's not likely that Jones will be able to crack the starting lineup this season, but I still think he will be a key contributor, especially on passing downs.

Whether he was playing inside or outside, on film, Jones was not a guy who needed stunts or twists to generate pressure. Mind you, he is good at those things, but he had some pretty good pass rush moves as well. The fact that he has good pass rushing technique both as an interior rusher and an edge rusher should mean he'll get a lot of opportunities to come in and make things happen on passing downs this year, more so than in past seasons.

Teams will likely be paying a lot of attention to Matthews and Peppers, which should also allow him more than a few one-on-one opportunities to take advantage of.

One of the things that really impressed me watching Jones last season was his feel for running pass rush games. Longtime readers know that bad pass rush games are practically the bane of my existence, so when they are actually run correctly it makes me perk up and take notice. Usually there's one guy who gets greedy and in too much of a damn hurry to set the game up properly, so instead of his teammate having a clean gap to run through, they lead the offensive lineman they're supposed to be setting up right into a kill shot on that aforementioned poor, unfortunate teammate.

It really grinds my gears when it happens, because it's like the dummies don't understand that if they don't set it up right then nobody will win.

Jones understands not only how to be patient when he is the set up man, but also how to attract the offensive lineman's attention so that they never see his teammate coming. He also does a really good job of turning a tight corner around the penetrator when he's the looper, so that they both have a good chance of taking the quarterback down.

When it comes to pass rushing, this kid just gets it in every single facet of that game. That is why I think the more Jones plays, the better it will be for the Packers overall. It's a passing league and the more any team can get pass rushers on the field, the better.

With the position change and Datone Jones getting back to a size he is comfortable with, I think he is really going to take off this season and take Green Bay's pass rush up a notch or two. I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up with close to double-digit sacks this year, even in a backup role.

The more Jones gets on the field, the more you are going to see him wreaking havoc in the backfield. That should also set him up for a major payday next spring.

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