Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
Even though offensive guard Kyle Long and defensive end Datone Jones both played in the Pac-12 last season, Oregon and UCLA never took the field at the same time. The Ducks were a part of the Pac-12 North, and the Bruins were apart of the Pac-12 South.
So, Long and Jones will square off against each other for the first time on Monday Night Football, Week 9. The four-year player from UCLA is slotted to start at right defensive end, while the one-year player from Oregon is set to start the season out at left guard for the Chicago Bears.
Based on Green Bay's 3-4 alignment, Jones will spend most of the day working against Long. Sure, both players were first-round selections, but both players were drafted on two totally different sets of underlying factors.
Much like Ziggy Ansah, Long was drafted because of his tremendous upside. On the other hand, Jones was drafted because of his strong production numbers as a four-year player out of UCLA. As it stands right now, it's hard to say who has the leg up. But based on NFL readiness alone, it's hard not to favor Jones.
Through nine games of their rookie season, Jones will be the more polished player. Long will still be growing into the position and adapting to the NFL game.
Who knows, Howie Long's son could easily end up becoming the better player when it's all said and done. It may just take some time.