The 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers rookie camp has come and gone, and everyone who was in attendance has opinions about how the latest batch of Steelers rookies looked. For the NFL, rookie camps are a great tool for the Steelers coaching staff to gauge where these young men are as they prepare to sign their rookie contracts and transition into full offseason workouts and camps.
This year, the name that everyone wants to know about is first-round pick Jarvis Jones, who was a defensive end in college but is making the transition to outside linebacker in the Steelers’ 3-4 defense. What did we learn?
After reading the observations of several writers who were able to attend the Steelers rookie camp, it appears the consensus about Jones is that the speed and explosion he displayed in college is evident. He was able to get off the snap quickly and turn the corner.
During his time at Georgia, he was one of the most dynamic and productive player in all of college football, and as the Steelers get ready for full OTAs later in the month, Steelers fans are going to continue to be impressed by what Jones can do.
But I have read several times that while Jones has looked great, his size is a concern. Jones is weighing in at around 243 pounds, and is lighter compared to the other two top outside linebackers, LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds. But how much did that extra beef help last season?
Give him a season in an NFL strength and conditioning program and he’ll be bigger, but Jones’ game is predicated on being dynamic and explosive, so I don’t want him at 265 pounds, and plodding. I want him 250 and creating havoc on the field with his field speed and ability to run down the play.
So, as far as I am concerned, those who want to put 20 pounds on Jones can go pound sand. Give me a smaller, faster and more athletic group of linebackers any day.