Alouettes sign former NFL first round pick Datone Jones, eight others

Photo courtesy: NFL

The Montreal Alouettes have signed several American players including former NFL first-round pick defensive end Datone Jones.

Jones comes to Montreal after spending seven seasons in the NFL. The six-foot-two, 241-pounder was drafted 26th overall by the Green Bay Packers as their first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and he went on to play four seasons for the club. The Los Angeles, CA native also suited up for the Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders during his NFL career.

In 68 games in the NFL, the 30-year-old amassed 57 solo tackles and 25 assisted, in addition to ten quarterback sacks and eight knockdowns. He also registered two interceptions. Jones helped the Packers reach the playoffs in each of his four seasons spent in Wisconsin, registering nine tackles and 0.5 sacks in eight games.

“We are very happy to have a player of Datone’s caliber joining our team. He is an explosive player that will help pressure opposing quarterbacks,” said Alouettes general manager Danny Maciocia. “His experience in the pros and his exemplary attitude will be great assets on the field and in our locker room.”

Jones played his college career with the UCLA Bruins, where started all 28 games in two seasons, in 2011 and 2012. He registered 19 tackles and 6.5 quarterback sacks in his senior year.

The club also signed American linebackers Romeo Finley, Eli Mencer, Tre Watson, defensive linemen Curtis Cothran, Jamal Davis and Lord Hyeamang. Defensive backs Rodney Randle Jr. and Ahmad Thomas were also signed by the Alouettes.

Finley played for the University of Miami Hurricanes. In his last season, the six-foot-one, 215-pound native of Fort Walton Beach, FL collected 54 tackles including four for losses. He added four knockdowns and two interceptions, one of which ended with an 83-yard run leading to a touchdown. In 2020 the 23-year-old linebacker took part in the Los Angeles Chargers’ training camp.

Mencer played for the SUNY at Albany Great Danes. In four seasons, the 24-year-old linebacker recorded 106 solo tackles and 92 assisted. The Altoona, PA native added 21.5 quarterback sacks for losses of 153 yards. He added two interceptions, nine knockdowns, 12 forced fumbles and eight recoveries. In 2020, the six-foot-one, 229-pounder spent time with the Seattle Seahawks.

Watson suited up for the University of Maryland Terrapins for four seasons. In 2018, the 25-year-old was named to the first All-Big Ten team and second Phil Steele All-American and FWAA All-American teams. Standing an impressive six-foot-seven, 317-pounds, the Phoenix, AZ native led his conference with 9.6 tackles per game and five interceptions, tying a university record for a linebacker. He played in 2020 for the Dallas Renegades in the XFL. In 2019, he suited up for the Miami Dolphins.

The six-foot-five, 283-pound Cothran played four years for the Penn State University Nittany Lions. The 25-year-old defensive lineman amassed 67 solo tackles and 26 assisted, adding 15.5 tackles for losses. A native of Philadelphia, PA, he participated in the Fiesta Bowl in 2018 in addition to suiting up for the Minnesota Vikings.

Davis played in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins in 2019. He also spent time with the Green Bay Packers, the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Texans. Checking in at six-foot-four and 240-pounds, the Canton, OH native played for the Akron University Zips. In his senior season he made 48 solo tackles, 34 assisted, in addition to forcing a fumble. The 25-year-old intercepted a pass and amassed 5.5 quarterback sacks.

Hyeamang played two games with the Alouettes in 2019. The Lakeville, MN native spent time with the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks. The former Columbia University Lion was a First Team All-Ivy League selection as a senior, starting all ten games and racking up 24 tackles and two sacks. During his collegiate career, the 23-year-old totaled 76 tackles, 14 tackles for losses and three sacks.

Randle Jr. was a two-time All-Southland Conference selection. He played 41 games with the Lamar University Cardinals. The 23-year-old recorded 170 tackles during his career, including 119 solos and five interceptions for 49 yards in returns. He added 21 knockdowns, forced a fumble and recovered one. He also returned 84 kicks for 1,802 yards and a touchdown. The six-foot, 170-pound defensive back ended his career just one return and 18 return yards shy of being the school’s all-time leader. In 2019 the native of Beaumont, TX, was part of the Los Angeles Chargers.

Thomas was a member of several NFL teams, including the Oakland Raiders, the Green Bay Packers, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Atlanta Falcons. The 26-year-old played at the collegiate level with the University of Oklahoma Sooners. In 42 games, in the Miami, FL native amassed 149 solo tackles and 73 assisted. He added four interceptions, seven knockdowns and one fumble recovery.