If University of Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones happens to be still on the board when the Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock this Thursday with the 17th overall pick, it would be smart for the Steelers to snatch him up quickly. Jones said that that he doesn’t expect to fall past Pittsburgh during the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
According to most mock drafts, Jones is more than likely to end up in the Steel City. If by chance this doesn’t happen, then it will be safe to say that Jones will be a bit upset. Not to mention, a good number of Steelers fans will be upset as well.
There are a number of teams that are slated to pick before Pittsburgh in the draft that could also use the services of Jones. The two-time Consensus All-American can bring a pass rush that will instantly improve any team that uses a 3-4 defensive alignment, something that the Steelers can most definitely use.
The one thing that could possibly make Jones slide down the draft board is the neck injury he sustained before transferring to Georgia. The two-time All-SEC selection was diagnosed with spinal stenosis in 2009. However, Jones was cleared to play once he arrived in Athens, GA, and has been a dominant force since. Even at the NFL Scouting Combine, Jones was okayed by medical professionals.
Having Jones not to end up in Pittsburgh wouldn’t be a surprise, as long as he is selected prior to the 17th pick. On the other hand, if the Steelers have the opportunity to select Jones and decide to pass on the nation’s leading sacker, then many eyebrows will be raised.
For the sake of Jones, I hope that he is right about his prediction of being taken in the first half of the draft. Furthermore, for the sake of Pittsburgh, I hope that Jones is still available once they are on the clock, and they have enough sense to get the country’s best pass rusher.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google