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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Datone Jones to Broncos in first round?

The UCLA defensive end is projected to go to Denver as a late first-round pick in one mock draft.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Bruins defensive end Datone Jones is hovering around the first round of the NFL Draft, but one prominent NFL writer sees him getting selected next Thursday night by a team with a new opening at his position.

Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, in his latest mock draft on Wednesday, projects Jones will be selected by the Denver Broncos with the 28th overall pick.

Banks writes that going with Jones could give the Broncos another option for replacing Elvis Dumervil, who signed with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason:

Jones is a versatile and well-experienced collegiate player and represents very solid bottom-of-the-first-round value. He's not the most explosive of pass rushers, but he's going to generate steady heat on the passer and help offset some of the loss of rush felt by the unscripted Elvis Dumervil departure.

Jones is the fourth-rated defensive end in prospect rankings from SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn (though Fairburn lists Jones just outside the first round in his latest mock draft). In 2012, Jones registered 62 total tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks for the Bruins.

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