Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
A late riser, Datone Jones has moved up on a lot of boards as a result of a strong postseason. Two of the experts at CBS lead the charge when it comes to projecting Jones to the Vikings.
A number of draftniks have moved him up boards, including the extremely accurate mockers at NEPatriotsDraft and comprehensive analysts at Draft Countdown.
Still, it's a bit of a puzzling choice for a team whose strength best lies in their defensive ends, given the production that All-Pro Jared Allen, an ever consistent Brian Robison and an explosive Everson Griffen provide.
But, all three of those players (and backup George Johnson) will hit the free-agent market in 2014. Odds are that the Vikings won't retain all of them, and they value depth along the defensive line. Knowing that this is a strong year for pass-rushers building depth comes from more than just finding players at positions of immediate need, they may look at investing in Datone Jones.
Jones' strength is his versatility, although, his technique also provides immense value.
He has a full roster of pass-rushing moves, which he'll counter with strength from time to time. Jones should work in 3-4 and 4-3 fronts, and some think he can line up nearly anywhere on the line. He's rushed from 7-, 5-, 3-, 1- and 0-tech positions, although his build is slight enough that he should more often line up outside.
His scouting report is full of positives, from read and react ability, technique, power, speed, agility, flexibility and even character. He has long arms and a thick build that can add weight, and he also plays with balance, keeping pad level low.
He does have minor inconsistency problems in his first step, hand usage and turn around the edge, but he is fine for the most part.
Two things make him less than ideal for the Vikings in the first round: his size reduces his versatility to the outside and the Vikings simply have larger glaring needs where the draft has strength.
If Letroy Guion had improved like they projected and they had kept Winfield, this pick would make much more sense but four strong needs at bigger holes make this pick unlikely and untenable.