Early Look At 2013 NFL Draft Prospect: Jarvis Jones

By Akiva Goldenberg

A major problem for many teams in the 2012 NFL Draft was the fact there were no defensive/outside linebackers (DE/OLB) who were elite pass rushers with no motor concerns. Recently there’s been a lot of talk on Twitter amongst NFL Draft experts whether or not Jarvis Jones, out of the University of Georgia, being a definite top five or ten pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. So I decided to take a look at all of the cutups I could find on Jones and determine if his play in 2011 was worthy of that type of pick.

It’s important to remember Jones could have entered the 2012 NFL Draft but decided to return to Georgia for his Redshirt Junior season. Here are the games that I watched for my analysis: Georgia’s games against Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

  •  In the Auburn game Jones played well but not at a level worthy of a top ten pick. Based on this game alone I can tell Jones is not like any of the major prospects from the 2012 NFL Draft. He displays solid ability to chase after the quarterback but this game was not representative of a top ten pick.
  • Against Florida, Jones looked fantastic. He was able to pursue the quarterback with relative ease and displayed exceptional quickness/explosiveness. This was definitely a better game for the linebacker compared to the Auburn game.
  • Once again I was impressed by Jones’ performance, this time against Kentucky. He got better as the game progressed and applied lots of pressure in the second half. Jones’ athleticism was on full display and he looked very good. I definitely think he’s more of a 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE.
  • Tennessee was Jones’ worst game that I saw. He played like a second round player and was frequently shut down by both of Tennessee’s offensive tackles. The Jones that I saw in this game was not worth a first or second round pick.
One important thing I would like to add is that Jones definitely earned legitimate sacks, something I didn’t see too much from prospects like Courtney Upshaw or Melvin Ingram. Such sacks come in four seconds or less and have to beat an offensive tackle with a pass rush move, not just run straight at the quarterback without encountering any opposing player.
After what I  saw I don’t think I would say Jarvis Jones deserved to be a top ten pick in this year’s draft. If he wants to be worthy of a top five/ten pick, the linebacker needs to improve and consistently get past offensive tackles to apply pressure on the quarterback.

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