On Thursday night, defensive end Datone Jones went to the Green Bay Packers as the 26th overall pick in the NFL draft. Here’s a quick Q&A with him done after the pick was announced.
Q: Did you get nervous waiting to be picked?
I knew I could go anywhere from 25 to 32. Once pick 24 came up, I thought I’d be an Indianapolis Colt. I fit really well into that at UCLA. I was pretty sure that I was going to Indy. It didn’t even cross my mind that I was going to Green Bay. Just wanted to happen, the experience of being a first pick, I’m so honored. I just can’t wait to dominate.
Q: How does it feel to break the first round drought? Did you talk to Marcedes Lewis at all leading up to this process?
I just can’t wait to dominate. All the teams that passed up on me before, I’m not going to use them as my motivation, but I just want them to know they missed out on a great pick. I’m going to do as much as I can. I’m going to work as hard as I can so I can bring a championship to Green Bay.
Q: Have you talked to Marcedes Lewis recently?
He hit me up earlier today on Twitter. Me and him had a chance to exchange a few messages. I was surprised. It really touched me that the Bruin family is so strong together.
Q: Any concern about the cold?
I’m not really worried. I’m ready to play football. I’ve played in many snow games since I’ve been at UCLA. I’ve played in a lot of cold games. The thing it comes down to is heart, I feel like.
Q: How do you think you fit into Packers’ 3-4 scheme?
I’m a guy that can get up to about 290 pounds and still be the same guy, being able to rush from anywhere on the field. I plan to dominate. I’ve played in multiple defenses, and I feel like that’s where I can fit in the most.
Q: What does it mean for your family? Do you feel like you can set an example for kids growing up in Compton?
My family’s going crazy right now. All my friends are going crazy. [Datone Jones and his family celebrated at Candela Taco Bar, which he said has the best Mexican food in Los Angeles.] I wish I could enjoy this moment with the city. This pick doesn’t define who I am. It just lets every kid from anywhere across the nation that’s growing up in a tough situation know that you can overcome anything.
Q: Does it feel like a bellwether moment for UCLA, with no USC players going in the first round?
You know what, I didn’t even think of it that way. But you know what I can say? I carried a torch for California right now. Being the first guy drafted in California, I feel like I carried a torch. I feel like I got a key to the city right now.