INDIANAPOLIS – The Seattle Seahawks have their eyes on UCLA defensive end Datone Jones.
Jones interviewed with Seahawks brass at the Senior Bowl last month and already at the NFL Scouting Combine this week.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll recruited Jones while at USC from nearby Compton, Calif.
“(Seahawks linebackers coach) Ken Norton gave me a lot of (grief) for (not) having come to USC,” Jones said. “He respects my game. I love Ken Norton. I’ve known him since I was in 10th grade.”
Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, has Seattle selecting Jones at No. 25 in his latest mock draft. Jones earned second-team Pacific-12 Conference honors his senior season, finishing with 62 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and six sacks.
Seattle’s familiarity with Jones doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be the team’s pick come April. But Jones does provide a blueprint for the type of player Seattle might be looking for to help improve the team’s pass rush.
Measuring in at 6-foot, 31/2 inches and weighing 283 pounds, Jones is a versatile performer who could back up Seattle defensive end Red Bryant and move to defensive tackle to push the pocket in passing situations.
“They’re getting a guy who plays with maniacal effort,” said Jones, when asked what a team will get if they draft him. “A guy who wants to be the best, the best guy out there – that’s what they’re getting. I don’t care if DeMarcus Ware is on the team or whoever; I want to be the best player.”
Jones also played for former Seahawks coach Jim Mora his final season at UCLA. Jones said the former NFL head coach helped him prepare for the draft.
“One thing he told us when he first came in his first team meeting, he said if you have aspirations at playing at the next level, then I’m your guy,” Jones said. “He said, ‘I’m bringing an NFL staff in here, and coaches who never coached college football before.’ He never coached college football before. So he said this is the NFL now. If you’re a senior, this is your rookie year.”
GUS IMITATES PETE
Former Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley looked at home at the podium talking to reporters at the combine in his new role as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.
And Carroll’s influence on him was obvious.
Bradley’s plans for what the Jaguars will do offensively and defensively mirror Seattle’s philosophy schematically.
He’ll build a defense that will rely on tall press cornerbacks, team speed and getting after the quarterback. He’ll employ a run-based offense using a zone blocking scheme.
And Bradley said he’ll preach competition at every position.
“Pete is a tremendous coach, both offensively and defensively and special teams,” Bradley said. “He had a tremendous impact offensively in the meetings, talking to them about what gave defenses problems. He was in our defensive meetings and special teams meetings.
“Every day, he was the same person and he had great vision and great conviction. I think I’ve always had a vision if I was given this opportunity and what it would be, but I have even a stronger conviction now that I’ve been with Pete.”
The NFL announced the seven-round draft order for all 32 teams this week. Seattle has the No. 25 overall pick and 10 selections total in the April draft. Seattle has one pick each in rounds one through four, two picks in round five, one pick in round six and three in the seventh round. The Seahawks have an extra pick in the fifth round to complete the trade of linebacker Aaron Curry to Oakland. And Seattle has three picks in the seventh round from trades with Buffalo for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and New Orleans for linebacker Barrett Ruud. Arkansas-Pine Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead set a combine record for offensive linemen with a 40-yard time of 4.71 seconds in the first day of on-field testing. Ohio’s Eric Herman was the top offensive lineman in the bench press with 36 repetitions at 225 pounds. For tight ends, Chris Gragg of Arkansas ran the fastest 40-yard time of 4.50. Vance McDonald of Rice topped the tight end group with 31 reps at 225 pounds in the bench.Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams