With questions about his medical status swirling around Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones, the talented youngster badly needed a strong showing at the Bulldogs' Pro Day to bolster his lagging draft stock.
Not only did Jones not come through with that big outing, but his comments after the workout just made him look foolish in retrospect.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, saying that Jones' Pro Day did not go well would be something of an understatement.
Rich Cimini @RichCimini
Rex Ryan attended Georgia pro day. Scout there told me LB Jarvis Jones had "terrible workout." Ran 4.90. #Jets3/21/2013, 9:49:21 PM
Nakia Hogan of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the 6'2", 242-pound Jones, who chose not to participate in drills in February's NFL Scouting Combine, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds, completed 20 repetitions of 225-pounds on the bench press, broad jumped 9'3" and had a vertical leap of 30.5 inches.
Here's a look at how those numbers would have ranked among the linebackers that worked out at the combine in February.
However, Tony Pauline of Draft Insider offered a couple of caveats regarding Jones' poor day in Athens.
Tony Pauline @TonyPauline
Despite poor 40 times in part due to leg/hamstring injury, report from scouts is Jarvis Jones/LB/Georgia looked good in position drills...3/21/2013, 4:51:23 PM
It's also certainly worth noting that workouts aren't the be-all end-all where player scouting is concerned. Far from it, in fact.
Jones tallied 85 tackles and 14.5 sacks in 2012, and there's ample game tape of Jones wreaking havoc on opposing offenses.
In fact, that disparity between Jones' game tape and his poor workout has at least one prominent draftnik a bit nonplussed.
Doug Farrar @BR_DougFarrar
Jarvis Jones has officially created a WTF Barrier between his in-season tape and his pre-draft issues. Not a 4.92 guy on tape, but ouch.3/21/2013, 7:38:08 PM
With that said, though, Jones needed this workout.
Talented as he may be, the spinal stenosis he suffers from (a narrowing of the spinal column) has already cast a huge shadow over his draft stock. It's caused some NFL teams to drop Jones on their draft boards, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk recently reported that some teams pulled Jones off their boards altogether.
A fantastic workout may not have allayed those medical concerns, but it might have motivated more NFL teams to consider overlooking them in favor of Jones' ability.
What Jarvis Jones really didn't need Thursday was to follow up a poor workout by shooting off his mouth, which is exactly what he did after the workout, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
D. Orlando Ledbetter @DOrlandoAJC
Jarvis Jones said: "At the end of the day I think I'm the number one player."3/21/2013, 4:21:34 PM
Jones quantified that statement, according to Kareem Copeland of NFL.com, by stating that his impact on the field can't be measured by a handful of drills.
"I'm a football player," Jones said after the workout. "It's about football, right? I'm a football player. That's what I do. At the end of the day, you get those drills -- I'm not saying they ain't worth nothing -- but you get those drills, running the 40 and all that stuff. You could get someone off the street who can run a 4.3, but they can't play football. That's easy."
At the end of the day, I more or less agree with Jones' second comment. It's just too bad he couldn't have avoided the first one. What some will simply view as the confidence of a very young athlete, others may take as arrogance—with Jones' stock sliding, he just doesn't need any more naysayers.
According to what Jones told David Michael Smith of Pro Football Talk on Thursday, there are a number of teams that have expressed interest in him, and he's already scheduled visits with three teams that have top five picks in April's draft.
The problem is, given the direction Jones' stock is headed, it's more likely than not that those teams are looking at Jones as a potential second-round pick.
And that certainly doesn't jibe with the youngster's view of himself.