Georgia Football: 5 Reasons Jarvis Jones Will Be a Better Pro Than Manti Te'o
Jarvis Jones and Manti Te'o are two of the best defensive college football players in the game. There is no doubt about it.
But with Te'o being a senior and Jones more likely to leave after this season to enter the NFL Draft, who will be the better pro?
It's a close call, but I feel Jones will be a better NFL player than Te'o. Both players will have great NFL careers, but if all goes according to plan, Jones will make more of an impact.
Here are five reasons why.
Te'o has made a lot of plays during his career, and with 92 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss, he is on his way to an All-American year.
But Jones has been making impact plays ever since his first game last year. This year, he leads the country with 17 tackles for loss, and he is first in the SEC in sacks with 10.5.
The NFL coaches love defensive players who can make plays in the backfield, and no college player can do it better than Jones.
Those 10.5 sacks by Jones are impressive, but the number of hits he has put on quarterbacks is the reason why opposing offenses game plan to make sure he gets nowhere near the quarterback.
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league, and defenses need a player who can apply pressure on the quarterback in order to take down opposing offenses.
Jones has the skill set to constantly pressure quarterbacks, and that has caught the eye of many NFL scouts.
Speaking of catching an NFL scout's eye, both Te'o and Jones have a chance to play different positions in the NFL.
Te'o can play all three linebacker positions, but because of the pass-rushing ability of Jones to go along with his instincts, he can play all the linebacker positions as well as defensive end.
If Jones goes to a team that runs a 3-4, he will play the same position he plays at Georgia and line up all over the field. If he goes to a 4-3 system, he will be more of a traditional outside linebacker who will flirt with the defensive end position from time to time.
Level of Competition
What Te'o is doing is nothing short of amazing, recording 92 tackles and six interceptions, and that is why he is a front-runner for the Heisman.
But Jones will be more NFL-ready when he enters the league because of the players he has faced in the SEC.
Jones has taken on the likes of LSU and South Carolina, and he will likely face Alabama in the SEC title game.
There will be quite a few SEC offensive linemen as well as skill players who will be taken in the draft and be expected to make an early impact.
Once Jones sees them again, he will ready to face them and continue to give them nightmares.
Let me make this clear. Both players are as tough as they come because they are playing one of the most physical positions in all of college football.
But Jones is battling a hamstring injury this season and had a neck injury two years before, but that not has kept him from playing at a high level.
Te'o has not had a major injury at Notre Dame, so it's unknown how he would bounce back if he were to suffer an injury in the NFL.
When Jones suffered the neck injury at USC, there was a chance he would never play football again. But he put in the work in the training room and is now an elite linebacker. That should carry over on Sundays.