Jarvis Jones' Best Fits in Thursday's First Round of NFL Draft
In what many are saying is a deep defensive draft, former Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones is the cream of the crop when it comes to outside linebackers in the 2013 NFL draft.
A subpar performance at his pro day could see Jones slip a bit in the draft, but if you watch the tape, it's easy to see that Jones undoubtedly has the skill set to be one of the best defenders in the years to come.
Plenty of NFL teams will be looking to bolster their defense in the first round and there's no better way to do it than by selecting Jones, a versatile linebacker who boasts excellent pass-rushing and strong tackling skills.
We'll have to wait until Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET to find out where Jones will call home this season, but for now, let's take a look at three NFL teams that are the best fits for the former Georgia linebacker.
The Steelers would have to trade up to snag Jones—I don't think he'll still be there at No. 17—but if he somehow fell to Pittsburgh, it'd be the ideal fit.
Jones already expressed his willingness to play for the Steelers to Pro Football Talk, saying,
If the Steelers took me, it’d be a great place to play. I love playing in the 3-4 system. I definitely understand a lot concepts and the things that they do up there, being that I played in the 3-4 system. I mean, it wouldn’t be much of a transition from the scheme part, but I think the Steelers are a great place to play especially on defense.
Hearing that statement has to have Dick LeBeau licking his chops at the idea of Jones lining up in his system, but like I said before, Pittsburgh would have to trade up in order to get the former Georgia standout.
With James Harrison gone from Pittsburgh and now with the division rival Cincinnati Bengals (h/t ESPN), the Steelers' defense needs a gritty playmaker on defense, and that's exactly the type of play Jones brings to the table.
New Orleans Saints
If Jones slips past the New York Jets with the No. 13 pick, I think the New Orleans Saints have to take the outside linebacker.
The Saints are looking to bolster their rushing defense that ranked dead last in the NFL in 2012 and should be looking for a pass-rusher after recording only 30 sacks.
With a new defensive coordinator in Rob Ryan, 2013 figures to be a heavy defensive draft for New Orleans, meaning Jones is on the radar. According to his official Twitter account, Jones already met with the Saints, which shows there's definitely interest there.
Picking 15th in the draft, the Saints would have the opportunity to get Jones before he would almost certainly be gone by No. 17, as Pittsburgh clearly has a need for Jones and he wants to play there.
The Saints have a lot of work to do on defense if they're going to contend in the NFC in 2013 and drafting Jones could be the start of something beautiful in New Orleans.
New York Jets
With the No. 9 and 13 picks in the first round on Thursday, I think Jones ultimately ends up with the New York Jets under Rex Ryan.
It's no secret that Ryan loves his defense and after watching New York's dismal offense in 2012, the Jets should be looking to load up on defense to combat their offensive woes.
What's the best fit for Jarvis Jones in the first round?
Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk notes that there's plenty of buzz regarding Jones to the Jets and cites that Jones' slower 40 time correlates with that of Terrell Suggs, whom Ryan absolutely adores. New York is undoubtedly in need of a pass-rusher and Jones certainly fits the bill for the Jets.
New York's defense recorded just 30 sacks last season and ranked 26th against the rush while surrendering 17 scores on the ground.
The Jets have a ton of work to do on the offensive side—including quarterback, wide receiver and running back—but Jones is the best selection they can make in the first round.
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