Jarvis Jones' Rookie Predictions with Pittsburgh Steelers
Every year, there's always a potential superstar who slips to an already dangerous team for some cockamamie reason, leaving opposing fans in a "that's-not-fair" kind of depression.
This year's candidate is Georgia's Jarvis Jones, who fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers at pick No. 17 on Thursday.
The former Bulldog undoubtedly trickled down draft boards because of health concerns and a slow 40-yard dash, but in the end, The Black and Gold filled arguably their biggest need with a player who has Pro Bowl potential.
Sorry, rest of the NFL.
Who is Jarvis Jones?
Jones, a former 4-star recruit, enrolled at USC as a freshman. He made a slight impact in his first year there, but then suffered a neck injury and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.
The Trojans wouldn't clear him for contact—and even suggested he retire—so he transferred to Georgia, where he was eventually deemed healthy and cleared to become the most dominant defensive player in America not named Jadeveon.
In two seasons with the Bulldogs, he racked up a staggering 155 total tackles, 44 for loss, 28 sacks and nine forced fumbles.
Many worry about his durability and 4.85 40-time at Georgia's pro day, but the man is just a vending machine of production. He isn't there to exercise.
Essentially, this (via ESPN's Scott Van Pelt):
Saw Georgia beat Florida & never once wondered how fast 29 could run the 40.Because...who cares? Jarvis Jones + Pittsburgh feels perfect— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) April 26, 2013
And here's that game against Florida, in case you were curious:
Still worried about that 40 time?
Didn't think so. Jones may have a few question marks, but there are few players with more quickness around the edge. Few who have produced more gaudy stats at such an elite level. Few who have more instincts or who are more relenting at finding the quarterback. Few who have his combination of size (6'2", 245 lbs), athleticism and explosiveness.
How Does he Fit?
What's another word for super-duper-amazingly-stupendously-perfect?
With the loss of James Harrison and sometimes underwhelming play of Jason Worilds, the Steelers needed an outside linebacker opposite LaMarr Woodley. Not only that, but they needed one who can get to the quarterback, as most of their pressure from this 3-4 defense is generated by the outside linebackers.
Well, how does arguably the best edge-rusher in the draft sound?
The Steelers need Jones, and Jones needs the Steelers, who have a habit of turning linebackers into Pro Bowlers.
It's difficult to find a better fit than that.
Rookie Year Predictions
How many sacks will Jones record in 2013?
Jones should immediately step in as starter at right linebacker, creating a rotation between him, Woodley and Worilds.
While he's better in run support than most give him credit for—he'll be a three-down player eventually—he'll get rest on early downs and thrive on third downs with one job in mind: getting to the quarterback.
Not only will Jones continue to produce individually like he has done the last two years, but his presence will help free things up for surrounding defenders. Expect the Steelers to improve on their No. 15 ranking in sacks from last year.
2013 Predictions: 16 games played, 50 total tackles, 4.0 for a loss, 8.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles
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