Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
For today's edition of "Upgrade or Downgrade?" I thought that the next logical place to go would be defensive end. Coming out of spring practice, Datone Jones is projected to start, opposite Korey Bosworth:
Jones, Ayers, Carter and Korey Bosworth lining up this spring. Photo Credit: dabruins07 (flickr)
Jones replaces Tom Blake (who we lose to graduation), the starter for the first 5 games of 2008 (and 8 games in 2007), and Reginald Stokes who started the last 5 games of 2008.
Tom Blake seemed to do an ok job at the beginning of the year. He was a physical guy who played really hard and got in on a couple big plays, but never seemed especially dominant. Unfortunately, a sports related hernia ended his final season.
Stokes took over the last 5 games after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his knee. He also did a fair job at DE, but I must say that overall, I considered the Blake/Stokes side to be one of the more vulnerable parts of our defense last season.
Datone Jones started for 2 games in between Tom Blake and Reginald Stokes. He had an excellent effort against Cal, making 6 tackles in his first ever division 1 start. The OC Register ran a little story on him a couple months ago, where they were comparing him to Bruce Davis. The story also mentions how he got driven back 15 yards by a tight end. Ouch. Furthermore, there were probably some issues with his play (or maybe his experience?) in those two games or he wouldn't have been benched in favor of Stokes towards the end of last season.
In my opinion, we are looking at another Aaron Hester, a great young athelete with tremendous upside, but still very raw. What do you guys think? Is Datone Jones an upgrade, downgrade, or about the the same as last season's combination of Tom Blake and Reginald Stokes?