Snaps became precious for Datone Jones as a rookie. By Week 16, his rations dwindled to four snaps. In Week 17? Five.

Not what you expect out of a first-round pick. Surely not what Jones expected.

"Two snaps per game, 13 percent of the snaps on the year," said Jones, not exaggerating that much. "That's what you get, 31/2 sacks in a season. Playing more, who knows what could happen?"

Those picked after the Green Bay Packers defensive end at 26th overall in the 2013 draft did, in fact, play. Houston's DeAndre Hopkins (27th) caught 52 passes for 802 yards. St. Louis' Alec Ogletree (30th) had 117 tackles and six forced fumbles. Center Travis Frederick (31st) out of Wisconsin was a rock in Dallas, starting all season. Safeties Matt Elam (32nd) and Johnathan Cyprien (33rd) are full-time starters.

Jones sat. He waited. He watched on as a fifth-rounder (Josh Boyd) took his playing time.

Say this about Jones: He's confident.

His confidence didn't waver then, and it won't now. The way Jones sees it, he made his jump at UCLA in Year 2 and he'll do the same here. A mountain of expectations isn't new.

"There's a lot of expectations," said Jones, who actually played about one-fourth of the total defensive snaps. "When I was coming into college, I was one of the highest picks in the nation," Jones said. "When I was coming into the NFL, I was one of the highest picks. So, for me, I'm not here to impress the fans. I'm here to win games with my brothers in this locker room."

True, out of Compton, Calif., Jones was a four-star recruit. He had offers from Notre Dame, Oregon, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Nebraska. Much was expected. In his freshman year, Jones had only 15 tackles (zero for loss) and two starts in 10 games.

Then, in 2009, he says, "it clicked." Jones broke out for 11 tackles for loss and four sacks.

"That's why I'm working really hard to start this year," Jones said. "If I play more, those opportunities will come."

Green Bay may plug the 6-foot-4, 285-pound Jones in next to Mike Daniels on passing downs. They worked in tandem during the spring.