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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • D.D. Jones optimistic as NFL Draft approaches

  • Former Delta High, Bastrop High and University of Arkansas defensive lineman DeQuinta "D.D." Jones hopes to hear his name called on ESPN Friday or Saturday.
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  • D.D. Jones will stick close to the TV for the latter half of the NFL Draft on Friday and Saturday.
    Jones, the former Delta Mustangs, Bastrop Rams and Arkansas Razorbacks defensive tackle, may casually view today's first round, but will definitely keep an eye on ESPN as the draft moves into the latter rounds Friday and Saturday.
    From conversations with NFL scouts and his agent, the 6-4, 306-pound Jones is optimistic that his name will be called at some point. As far as Jones is concerned, the sooner it happens, the better.
    "As of now, the best I've heard is Saturday," Jones said. "But you never know, it may come earlier. I'm really hoping I can go on Friday."
    Rounds 2-3 will be held Friday, with rounds 4-7 set for Friday.
    Jones says the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Raiders and Seattle Seahawks have shown interest.
    Of the four former Rams who recently used up their college eligibility, Jones appears to have the best chance to be drafted. Defensive tackle Josh Downs (LSU), wide receiver Randall Mackey (Ole Miss) and cornerback Edward "Bud" Patterson (Grambling) are also hoping for the opportunity to catch on with NFL teams.
    An evaluation of Jones on nfl.com, reads, "Defensive tackles with the size and athleticism to start in the SEC are always coveted by NFL scouts. So even though Jones has only six tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in three years (22 starts in 37 games), don't discount his chances of becoming a solid late-round pick after a strong senior campaign."
    Since finishing the fall semester at Arkansas, Jones has split his time between working out in Dallas and Fayetteville. Though he skipped the bag drills at Arkansas' Pro Day, he says he still had a good workout.
    "I tweaked my hamstring at the end and missed the bag drills," Jones said, "but overall, my Pro Day went great."
    Jones says his conversations with NFL scouts have been positive.
    "They like my explosiveness," said Jones, who helped Bastrop High win back-to-back Class 4A state titles in 2006 and 2007. "I like to keep my linebackers clean. I don't mind being double-teamed as long as I can penetrate and know my linebackers are clean. That's my focus."
    Despite a turbulent senior season, Jones says he enjoyed his time in Fayetteville. Former head coach Bobby Petrino was fired when an offseason motorcycle accident grew into a full-fledged scandal and the Razorbacks never recovered. A season that began with high hopes, turned into a disappointing 4-8 campaign.
    "It was great my first three years," Jones said. "Last year wasn't so good. But I got to play in the Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, so overall, Arkansas was a good experience."
    Page 2 of 2 - As a senior, Jones recorded 18 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and a blocked kick.
    He had one of his better games in the 2011 Cotton Bowl as the Razorbacks capped an 11-2 season with a 29-16 victory over Kansas State.
    In 2010, the Razorbacks went 10-3, including a 31-26 Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State.
    As a freshman, Jones sacked Tim Tebow twice for negative 19 yards in a 23-20 loss to Florida.
    Jones hopes the Hogs return to prominence under first-year head coach Brett Bielema.
    "I think he'll do pretty good," Jones said of Bielema. "I went to the spring game and they looked pretty good running the ball and passing the ball. All the football players seem to like him. I'm anxious to see how they do this year."
    Jones is also anxious to see what happens with his own career over the next couple of days.
    "I'm just playing the waiting game right now," he said.

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