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Packers Appear to Have Found a Keeper in Josh Jones

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Packers Appear to Have Found a Keeper in Josh Jones

You never really know how a drafted player is going to pan out until you actually see him on the field. And while it’s still very early in the process for Josh Jones, so far, the Green Bay Packers like what they see.

As the Packers concluded their minicamp today, head coach Mike McCarthy took the podium and answered some questions. He was asked about his young players and in particular the secondary and one of the two names he mentioned was Josh Jones.

Now just because Jones has turned heads at minicamp and OTAs doesn’t mean anything. He will need to continue to do so once training camp starts and when the live bullets start flying in the preseason.

Yet, you get the feeling that will be only be confirmation of what the Packers already believe: Jones is the guy they have been looking for to fill the role as a true hybrid safety.

Here is what defensive coordinator Dom Capers said about Jones to the local media on Thursday:

“He’s got good vision, instincts,” Capers said. “He can key the quarterback and play the ball. He’s got the safety background coming out of college. He’s done a good job in there at the slot. It takes some instincts to play in there at the slot position. You’re closer to the action. Normally that guy, our history here is he blitzes more. He’s got the speed and he can get there in a hurry.”

 In a sense, Jones is a guy, who has the ability to do it all. He is quick enough to defend the pass, while also tough enough and physical enough to stop the run. And from the sounds of it, Capers is excited to give him the chance to blitz too.

Certainly, there is a long ways to go for Jones and all the rookies for Green Bay. But at this point, getting good reports from coaches is a good thing, because sometimes, most notably in the case of players that bust, even this early, concerns can arise.

Sometimes teams miss on evaluations and players aren’t what they thought they would be. So far at least, that doesn’t appear to be the case with Jones. 

Jones role in the secondary won’t be fully carved out until the pads come on for real next month. But progress is progress and to this point at least, he has shown he belongs, not only with his football instincts, but with his incredible athleticism.

The other encouraging thing, is his willingness to learn and his desire to play right away. When you hear him talk, you can hear the excitement in his voice. He wants to learn all the positions he is being asked to know and he is pumped to have the chance to make an immediate impact.

The bottom line is that in the NFL, some guys have what it takes to make it and some guys don’t. With what we have seen so far, it appears that in Jones, the Packers have found a keeper.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

RCPackerFan's picture

Until pads go on you never really know how good a rookie will be.

But there are things you can take away from these practices.

With Jones the first thing to take away from him is where the Packers have him playing. They have reportedly had him playing a lot of ILB and the Star Nickel position so far in practices open to the public.

The next thing to take away from Jones is his size/speed. He has turned a number of eyes with his speed and ability to close fast.

His instincts seem to be really good as well.

I am looking forward to seeing how Jones will be used with the Packers this year. He could provide us a threat on defense that offense have to prepare for.

DesertPackFan's picture

Randall will be the Star nickel CB this year. He's perfectly suited for that position. He's probably good enough to play outside CB as well but the Star position, that Woodson played extraordinarily well is what Randall is practicing and should be playing.

http://titletownsoundoff.com/featured-stories/damarious-randall-was-born...

Excellent article w/ quality analysis and illustration.

Jones should be the hybrid Safety/ILB in the mold of Burnett last year and see alot of coverage opportunities on TE. Both should see time in that role as ILB in nickel/dime.

Like what I've heard about Jones so far. But I refrain from getting too excited about players, especially rookies.

House and King boundary CB, Randall nickel "Star" CB, Jones and Burnett hybrid roles.

Zachary Jacobson's picture

Faris did a REALLY good job on that piece. He called Randall's exclusive slot position before they even took the field for OTAs.

NitschkeFan's picture

It is early but I'd like to see the base defence be a 3-3-5 with 3 Safties in the 5 DB's. Hopefully one of the Safties can be a successful hybrid Saftey/ILB.

This also assumes we have enough to quality on the DL to usually play 3 down lineman. I think they do.

Bearmeat's picture

Jones is certainly intriguing. Let's wait to see how he does later in the summer when things are closer to real NFL life.

early yet.

Turophile's picture

I expected some very positive reports coming out of the early practices this year. The no-pads OTA's are a chance for the very athletic guys to shine, and as we know, this year the Packers drafted a bunch of exceptionally highly rated guys.

Out of the Packers 10 draftees, four rated over 9.0 in the Relative Athletic Score (RAS), two were over 8.0 and two over 7.0 (average score is 5). These high scores would be similar on the more common SPARQ athletic rating.

Those 9.0+ guys are (from highest to lowest) Kevin King, Kofi Amichia, Josh Jones and Aaron Jones. The 8.0+ guys are DeAngelo Yancey and Vince Biegel. I expect all these guys to look good in OTA's (except Biegel, who is not on the field yet, he is recovering from foot surgery).

ricky's picture

It's definitely early. But good news is always welcome, rather than hearing things like a highly drafted rookie QB throwing so erratically that bystanders are in danger of being bonked by stray passes.

dobber's picture

The media would say: "QB prospect shows fan appreciation by distributing souvenir footballs."

Colin_C's picture

I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan of the pick right away, but I'm more excited now for this guy than anyone else we took. Compared to Jabrill Peppers, he's fast, bigger, and has more college production. Here's my way too early bold prediction: Jones will be in the conversation for defensive rookie of the year. Call me overly optimistic, but I've just got a feeling.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I thought Josh Jones was a much better prospect than Peppers and Melifonwu, along with several others taken in front of him. Count me in with your prediction, and I'd suggest he has a good chance to be the best defensive draft pick since Nick Collins, Colin. Yes, I know that by-passes Dix, Daniels, Perry, and CM3.

Nick Perry's picture

I wasn't a huge fan of the pick either Colin. But after reading more and more on the guy, reading so many comments from fellow fans, and now what the coaches have said, my original feelings about the pick have been replaced by excitement.

I thought the "no-brainer" pick was Jordan Willis whom the Packers were supposed to be in love with. Willis filled a huge need and taking him at 61 was good value.

The Packers actually outdid themselves getting King, Jones, AND Biegel. If Biegel is able to contribute, Jones develops into what everybody hopes, and King turns out to be a Richard Sherman clone many think he can be, the Packers will have had the best draft they've had in years.

CheesyTex's picture

Hope Capers is right about Jones' instincts. If he is, the Packers may have their most versatile DB since Charles Woodson.

al bundy's picture

Lets hope. If the lbs suck teams may run more too attacking the weaknesses. Who knows?

Handsback's picture

Jones wasn't an unknown before the draft. Several draft guides had him going in the first round. Most picked him to the Cowgirls. I think even one had Green Bay selecting him, which is when I looked him up. I thought no way Green Bay takes him...that is why I will never be a GM. I wish I could remember the site that did say he would be the Packer's pick, they may have some sort of pipeline into Packer's war room.

Lphill's picture

He may be a younger , bigger harder hitting version of Charles Woodson. We can only hope.

Tundraboy's picture

Can't even imagine that. But wow would I love that!

EdsLaces's picture

Kinda seems like Burnett is almost irrelevant at this point between Jones and Kentrell...just sayin.

DesertPackFan's picture

Burnett's contract expires after this season. Jones will take his job both at Safety and the ILB role. Brice will continue to be the backup who comes in when Burnett/Jones move forward to ILB.

As I've said all offseason even before the draft, this will probably be Burnett's last year in GB. They'll let him go in FA and take the comp pick, unless he's willing to sign a team friendly deal. Burnett is a good player and quality starter, but he's never been a true playmaker. I personally wouldn't mind if he was back for another couple years, I just don't think the Packers will go that route w/ Jones and Brice behind him.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This is one of the reasons I want to keep Marwin Evans as a 5th safety this season. Next season could look like Dix, Jones, Brice, and Evans. The other reason to keep Evans is he looks like an intriguing player.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

deleted

DesertPackFan's picture

If they keep 5 Safeties, it might mean they only go w/ 5 CB, where they generally keep 6. That might be possible given the quality at CB that far down the depth chart is probably similar or less than at Safety. So it might come down to Evans over a guy like Hawkins or possibly Gunter at CB. That will be an interesting competition to keep an eye on. Whichever way it shapes up, hopefully they can keep the others on the PS.

al bundy's picture

Based on perf of the other dbacks, being there and breathing is an improvement. I for one expect little from rollins or randle and i think they will achieve that.

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