The NFL Scouting Combine took place over the weekend. NFL teams are trying to get a good look at potential players they will draft in the 2013 NFL Draft. One notable absentee this week was Jarvis Jones, a linebacker from the Georgia Bulldogs. Jones absence is now sparking a debate of how fall he will fall in the draft.
With the 5th overall pick, the Detroit Lions had previously been linked to the linebacker. However, with the recent discussion of Jones’ medical condition, I hope the Lions take him off their first round list. Jones has a condition known as spinal stenosis. The condition, which occurred in a 2009 NCAA Football game, gives Jones a narrowing spinal column that causes pressure on the spinal cord. This condition usually comes to people with old age, but in the case of Jones it could lead to a shorter career.
Michael Irvin hung up his football cleats early from the condition. Cooper Manning, the older brother of NFL pros Peyton Manning and Eli Manning, ended his playing career in 1992 after a diagnosis of spinal stenosis. Jones may be just fine and have a good NFL career, but the likelihood is the condition will force him into early retirement.
This isn’t the first time that Jones’ condition has been brought up, but the combine seems to be putting it in the forefront. Back in 2009, while a freshman at USC, Jones sustained an injury in a game versus the Oregon Ducks. Team doctors refused to clear Jones to play football again. This ultimately led to his transfer to Georgia.
Jones is too risky of a pick for the Lions at number five. Earlier this week I also listed Dee Milliner as an injury risk and hoped that the Lions would pass him over. My original list of options for the Lions in the first round seems to be fading as I have now turned on Jones, Milliner and Manti Te’o. Jones fall will also prove my December mock draft wrong, where I had the linebacker going second overall.
With a long list of priorities for a team that went 4-12 in 2012, the Lions need a defensive end in the first round. The team cut Kyle Vanden Bosch and has yet to re-sign Cliff Avril. Pass on Jones and take a DE with the fifth pick.