Uncertainty has followed Jarvis Jones the past few years and will continue after his name is called in this years draft. Many questions ranging from if his spine is healthy or whether his pro-day workout was an aberration compared to his game film.
Georgia Bulldog fans already have a special place reserved in football lore for Jones. Even though he only played two seasons before declaring for the draft this year, some consider him the best UGA linebacker in school history.
As much as Georgia fans will miss him, other schools and their fans have sighed relief after the exasperation Jones caused opponents. Ask Florida fans if they’re glad he’s gone and they will most likely add thankfully.
Jones has proved he can make plays within the premier conference of college football. Nobody will argue stats and facts. There are observers at the next level though questioning if he can truly play as an outside linebacker, specifically in a 3-4 base defense. Is he quick enough based on his 40 time of record leading towards the draft? Majority of responses are no, but there’s also a caveat from nearly every person, coming to his defense stating game film shows he truly is quick enough to rush the quarterback from the outside. Others may mention the workout took place outdoors without the luxury of NFL draft combine 40 yard dash guru Mark Gorscak at his side.
If a team believes Jones cannot play outside, they will want to know if he’s versatile. When Jones was sitting out his transfer year in 2010, newly hired defensive coordinator, Todd Grantham, started Jarvis outside, but also worked him inside as well. Jones settled into a spot on the outside once the 2011 season started with his versatility showing he can rush from either the left or right side.
NFL teams have for the most part gathered as much information and reviewed countless minutes of game film, determining if Jones is worthy of their pick. If a team wants a player who plays relentless with a magnet towards the quarterback, then Jones is their man.
Where will Jarvis Jones land?
Draft-day prediction for one of the first round mysteries in this years draft.
13. New York Jets – Rex Ryan now has two picks in the top 13 and his trademark havoc defense is lacking play-makers in the front seven. Workout comparisons to Terrell Suggs based on 40 yard dash times. Coach Ryan could create another pass-rushing menace in Jones, much like his days in Baltimore.
15. New Orleans Saints – The other Ryan brother, Rob, could also use help on the outside, down in New Orleans as the Saints transform to a 3-4 defense. Victor Butler signed this off-season to offer some stability as a true 3-4 outside linebacker. Jones would provide more help as well.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – A void left by James Harrison’s departure will most likely see Pittsburgh address the glaring need within the first couple of rounds this year. If Jones slips this far, GM Kevin Colbert and Coach Mike Tomlin could potentially replace a linebacker who left with a chip on his shoulder for someone who is seemingly developing one these past couple of months.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Indianapolis were buyers once free agency started, but the biggest fish landed in terms of an outside linebacker was Erik Walden. Robert Mathis is on the wrong side of 30 and has a couple of huge roster bonuses due after this season on a contract signed March of last year.