The first day of the NFL Draft is over and the Pittsburgh Steelers have made their selection in the first round. The Steelers placed their 17th overall pick on the country’s sack leader in 2012, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones.
Jones will be asked (by all of Steeler Nation) to become the next great pass rusher to wear a Steelers uniform. So many have passed before him. Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, and James Harrison are a few of the great Steeler pass rushing linebackers. So what do we know about Jones?
“The Peach State native suffered a neck injury his true freshman year at USC, but returned home when cleared by Georgia doctors; the consensus All-American impressed scouts in 2011 with his ability to rush the passer and he didnt let up in 2012, leading the nation in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles. Jones also showed the versatility to play the run and get the job done in coverage. He enters the NFL with some questions with his struggles disengaging at the point of attack and limited length and growth potential, but the production speaks for itself and, as Bruce Irvin reminded us last April, pass rushers dont last long on draft day. Whether or not he would be able to fit in a 4-3 defense like Irvin would depend on how he is used, but he would fit best as a pass rush OLB in a 3-4 like in college. While his talent makes him a first-round pick, the medicals will be key to truly evaluating where Jones will be drafted.”
The Steelers brought Jarvis Jones in for a pre-draft visit on April 2nd. As dominant as he was in 2012 (leading the nation in three defensive categories), Jones is not the strongest against the run. When the Bulldogs played Alabama in 2012, running back Eddie Lacy had his way against Jones’ side. You do get great value in Jones as long as he checks out medically. Quite scary after the Sean Spence injury last season. Like it or not, Jarvis Jones is your newest Pittsburgh Steeler, and he has a ton of upside. Time will tell if the team honestly believes in Jason Worilds.
Keep checking back here Steeler nation as we break down every pick the Steelers make in the 2013 NFL Draft.