Are we supposed to be surprised? I mean, don't the Steelers do this every year? They're basically the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL, whoever they pick turns to gold, and when they get their hands on any real gold, it turns into something even greater.
That's what happened tonight. With the No. 17 pick in the draft, Pittsburgh grabbed Jarvis Jones. An outside linebacker who, in my mind, was the best player in the entire draft.
That's right Eric Fisher. Sorry Dion Jordan. I'd take Jarvis Jones over either of you. And he went No. 17. Oh well, I guess you can take comfort in your enormous paychecks.
See, Jordan, Fisher and a lot of the other top guys in this year's draft are projects. That's not to say they won't contribute right away, but they were picked mainly because of their athleticism, combine numbers or workouts. They were not necessarily the biggest stars at the college level.
But Jones? He was a stud at Georgia. In the past two seasons he had 28 sacks, and that was against SEC offensive lines. He came within a few plays of leading the Georgia Bulldogs to the BCS National Championship Game.
He may not have all of the physical tools, but tape doesn't lie, there's nothing he can't do. He's a fantastic pass-rusher, can defend tight ends in space and can close gaps on runs. He'll primarily focus on getting after the quarterback in Pittsburgh, but that doesn't mean he's a one-trick pony.
So what held him back? Spinal stenosis. I get having fears over a medical condition, you obviously want to be as thorough as possible, but we have years of tape on Jones that suggest he's healthy enough to play. Why would that change in the NFL?
So now we're faced with the same situation we've grown used to over the years, the Steelers walking away from the draft with a player far more valuable than their draft position indicates. Jones is going to be a star, and Pittsburgh stole him from teams like the Jets and Raiders who actually could have used him. Oh well, I guess that's why the Steelers win Super Bowls.
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