Jarvis Jones is one of the most polarizing 2013 NFL Draft prospects, but he’s got a great deal of potential. Let’s look a bit closer at his game.
LB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Jones’s numbers speak for themselves. With 44 tackles for a loss and 28 sacks in his two seasons as a starter at Georgia, it’s obvious that he’s a great pass rusher and playmaker. He’s been compared to Von Miller, since many say that he can play linebacker (absolutely) and be shifted to defensive end (disagree) on occasion.
Wait, two seasons?
He’s also been compared to Da’Quan Bowers, whose injury problems two years ago caused him to fall from a potential 1st overall pick into the second round. Jones started his college career at USC before suffering a minor neck injury. USC doctors determined that he had spinal stenosis, an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal, and would not clear him to play football. Jones transferred to Georgia and earned First-Team All-SEC honors in each of his two seasons as a Bulldog.
How teams rate out Jones’s spinal stenosis at the NFL Combine will have a large impact on where he’s drafted. The range Bowers exhibited is likely what Jones will face.
Jones has performed extremely well at Georgia on paper. As for the details, he shows off great instincts, intensity, speed and burst. His tackle numbers are very impressive for someone that played outside linebacker in Georgia’s 3-4. Jones is good in coverage as well. He can play the run and is a sound tackler, but he has a tendency to be overaggressive against the run. He’ll often try to go out wide and use his speed to beat blockers, taking himself out of the play in the process. Further, he really doesn’t know how to use his hands, and will have to be coached in that regard. Finally, at 241 lbs., Jones has had some difficulty beating blocks at the college level. In the NFL, the problem will only be magnified. He should add at least 5 pounds of bulk.
It’ll be a lot of fun to see where Jones is drafted. I would hope for his sake that it’s sooner rather than later. My guess is that he’ll be taken around the 5 slot.