By Brady Henderson
While the Seahawks have a glaring need for another edge rusher, improving the interior pass rush also ranks high on their list of offseason priorities.
That helps explain why Dane Brugler’s latest mock draft sends UCLA’s Datone Jones to the the Seahawks with the 25th pick. Brugler describes Jones – who’s listed at 6-feet-4 and 283 pounds – as a hybrid defensive lineman whose versatility will have added appeal to a team like the Seahawks.
UCLA’s Datone Jones has the versatility to play defensive end and tackle, which could appeal to the Seahawks as they try to improve their interior and outside pass rush. (AP)
“It makes a lot of sense for what Seattle wants to do. Obviously they want to get stronger on the defensive line, both inside and outside, and that’s Datone Jones,” Brugler told Jim Moore, Dave Wyman and Danny O’Neil Thursday.
“He can play outside as a pass rusher, defensive end, but he also has experience lining up inside at defensive tackle. For UCLA, in their three-man front, he played both the five-technique, he played zero-technique at the nose tackle. He’s done a lot of things.”
The Seahawks signed a similarly versatile player last offseason in Jason Jones, who’s roughly the same size as Datone Jones. Jason Jones had three sacks before his season ended with a knee injury. Questions about his health and productivity might make the Seahawks seek an upgrade in the draft.
Datone Jones had just 13.5 sacks during four seasons at UCLA, which isn’t the type of productivity teams look for in first-round picks. But, as Brugler noted, Jones also made 19 tackles for loss last season, the fifth-most in the Pac-12.
“He’s a guy that can only be blocked for so long. Terrific blend of length, of strength, quickness, makes plays all over,” Brugler said. “He’s a guy who might not last to 25, but if he’s there, it makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks.”
Brugler’s first-round mock draft also has the Patriots selecting former Washington cornerback Desmond Trufant with the 29th pick.
Brugler shares the popular opinion among draft analysts that Trufant raised his draft stock with strong showings at the Senior Bowl and the scouting combine. Brugler originally gave Trufant a second-round grade after watching his senior season.
“He looked outstanding with his footwork, his quickness out of his breaks, did a nice job with his anticipation (at the Senior Bowl),” Brugler said. “And we saw more of that at the combine, just the sheer athleticism. Obviously he has the bloodlines, and he’s a good kid, too, coachable and a guy you can trust.”