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LB Jarvis Jones The Pick For The Steelers At 17 Of The NFL Draft

Jarvis Jones

Jarvis Jones called it two days ago.

“If I even get to 17, I don’t think I get past the (Pittsburgh) Steelers,” Jones told’s Ian Rapoport. “I mean, from what I’ve been told, I don’t think I get past the Steelers.”

He was right.

Thursday nigth the Steelers found the player they feel will be the next force at linebacker, taking Jones with the 17th overall pick as he fell right into their laps.

Jones, from Georgia, was the highest rated outside linebacker for the Draft. He’s a two-time Consensus All-American and two-time First Team All-SEC.

The LB has 26 total sacks for the 2011 and 2012 season combined earning 13.5 each year. Some even had him rated as the highest defensive player overall in the draft, and now he’s a member of the Black and Gold.

Here’s the scouting report on Jones from Walter Football:

Jones was one of the best pass-rushers in college football over the last two seasons and dominated the SEC, the nation’s strongest conference. He started out his career at USC before a neck injury caused the Trojans staff to tell him to quit football. Other doctors disagreed and Jones transferred to Georgia. After sitting out a season, he took the SEC by storm in 2011.

Jones tied for fifth in the nation in sacks with 13.5 that year. The sophomore also had 70 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, two passes broken up and two forced fumbles. His season was highlighted with a four-sack game against Florida.

Despite all the teams sending double-teams his direction in 2012, Jones was even better as a junior; he led the nation in sacks, forced fumbles and tackles for a loss. Jones totaled 85 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, three passes broken up and one interception on the season. He had a string of dominating performances while missing the Kentucky game with a knee injury and didn’t look the same against South Carolina, but bounced back in late October.

Jones had a game for the ages in Week 2 against Missouri. He stepped up with huge plays to help lead the Bulldogs to a win. Jones had nine tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, a pass batted and an interception returned 21 yards to the goal line. The turnovers he created came late in the game and sealed the win for Georgia.

Once again, Jones dominated Florida and carried the Bulldogs to a win that secured them a spot in the SEC Championship. He had 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery against the Gators. Late in the fourth quarter Florida was driving for a game-tying touchdown, but Jones made the game-saving play with a forced fumble on a tackle from behind on tight end Jordan Reed at the Georgia 5-yard line. The Bulldogs recovered for the win.

In the SEC Championship Game against Alabama, Jones notched two sacks and a forced fumble. His sack-fumble was a phenomenal play on which he beat blocks from right tackle D.J. Fluker and running back Eddie Lacy to take down A.J. McCarron. Jones picked up another coverage sack later, but the Crimson Tide had a lot of success running straight at him. It was an ugly game for Jones as a run-defender. He finished his collegiate career strong with two sacks against Nebraska.

Jones should be a pass-rushing demon and a phenomenal edge-rusher in the NFL. He fires up field off the snap and is extremely hard for offensive linemen to get a hold of. Jones has good hands to fight off blocks with moves to get around linemen. While he isn’t a power player, he uses some functional strength along with his athleticism to shed blocks.

Jones is a heat-seeking missile in pursuit. He is great at chasing down quarterbacks and running backs from behind. Jones is always cognizant of the ball and does a great job of slapping it out to force turnovers. He was a sack-fumble machine in college. While Jones does not have blazing speed, he is football fast and that was clear with how he dominated the SEC.

There are a few areas Jones needs to improve for the pros. He needs more strength to hold up against runs that come directly at him. That would also help him to avoid some missed tackles.

Scouts at the East-West Shrine told that Jones would slide on draft day because it was their belief he would test poorly before the draft and isn’t a hard worker in the weight room. The scouts said that watching the game tape, Jones is worthy of being a high first-round pick, but they didn’t feel he will go that high. That prediction was validated in the months to come. Jones declined to work out at the Combine and had an ugly showing at his pro day with a terrible 40-yard dash time between 4.9 and 5.0 seconds. spoke with scouts who were in attendance at the pro day, and they said he did well in the linebacker drills, but really struggled in the timed tests. Scouts said that Jones isn’t a bad teammate or a bad guy, but he isn’t a guy who coaches will love during the week because he doesn’t put in a lot of work. However, scouts said they loved the way he showed up on game day.

Jones could be an elite pass-rusher at the next level. If he goes to a good organization and coaching staff that can motivate him, he could be an absolute force. If Jones lands with a bad team that has frequent coaching changes and instability, there is the potential for him to not pan out. With the workout concerns and the neck injury, he could easily fall to the middle of the first round.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. Jalen

    April 25, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Bad pick! Eiffert was there to make us tough in the redline but now cincy got him and they the ones who gonna be unstoppable in the redone now. Steelers are really stubborn, despite their all around success: look at NE who I hate but they compete for superbowls every year and have competed of late with two big TEs…it’s a copycat league so why the steelers think they’re too good to copy off another team’s formula/success?!?! I know scrutinizing pundits will say tha NE hasn’t won since 2004 and we have won two! But lately we have had a run on bad injuries and we are a kid who is undersized and has medica issues, albeit cleared. Don’t like direction we going…and what to Lin get against white boys anyway?!?! He pass over Sean Lee for Worilds and now passes over differs for jones?!?!

    • George H

      April 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      What are the odds that the Steelers actually imitate another team’s playbook and run a 2 receiving TE set. The Steelers are set in their ways and they wont change their system too much…. I would like to see the two TE NE set, but I just dont think its what the Steelers want to do. Jones is a good pick, especially at 17.

  2. George H

    April 25, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I’m slightly disappointed that we didnt get Vaccarro, but I am pretty happy about Jones. I still think we need to draft WR and Safety in the next 2-3 rounds. After this season, only Brown is under contract which is definitely a concern. Still Jones will prove to be a solid pick this season, as he offers a potential big play maker and perhaps valuable depth bc I dont see much after Worrilds and Woodley.

  3. DrGeorge

    April 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

    As I recall, George H., you predicted this one. Congratulations on the call!

    I had concerns about Jones’s stenosis, but apparently the Steelers’ doctors feel that won’t be a problem. His playing skills were not in question, and he gives the team badly needed speed. Our pass rush was awful last year. For that reason, I favored Lotuleilei for our first pick, but he got scooped up two picks ahead of us. Vaccarro would have been nice, too.

    Having devoted the draft for the past two years to offense, we are long overdue to give LeBeau some fresh talent on D. I would expect to see the next two picks go to defensive players as well. We can pick up a WR late or after the draft.

    I understand Jalen’s preference for Eiffert, but we have three quality tight ends — Miller, Paulson, and Pope — plus David Johnson. I gather from the pick of Jones that the coaches expect Miller will recover on time from his injury. Let’s hope so.

  4. George H

    April 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I can see the 2nd round going in a couple different directions. I see WR, Safety, or Linebacker again. I would really like to see Minter fall to us again in the 2nd. I honestly wouldnt be opposed to Teo in the second round either. He would bring good value and he is surrounded by a stable organization with veterans. Arthur Brown is an intriguing LB as well. The Safeties I like are Phillip Thomas from Fresno St, hes a ball-hawk and had 8 picks last year. Shamarko from Syracuse looks good too.
    I wouldnt be surprised if we target WR or RB either. I like Woods and Allen in the second round. Both bring size and physicality. As I said earlier, the Steelers don’t have anyone past Brown after next season, so finding a guy early and grooming him to be a starter next year is important. I also wouldn’t mind too much if somehow Lacy fell to us in the 2nd. I know he’s not the type of back we really need, but he is rather enticing nonetheless. Monte Ball is a good back too, but he already has a lot of miles on him.

    • Jalen

      April 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      There’s a TE from Rice, Vance McDonald, Walter footall purports that he’s a rare athletic specimen. Any thoughts on him in later rounds. I disagree with doc that Paulson and pope and Johnson are quality tight ends. I would even say so much as outside of plex Pitt does not have a red zone weapon as I don’t really connsider miller an exceptional redzone weapon as I don’t feel he’s athletic/’agile enough. I realize we dedicated a lot in recent drafts to the offense but that was primarily on the line. I agree we got to get younger on d and I guess jones was my number two option after eiffert. I’m saying AB , sanders and the rest dont pose a threat in the redzone like gronk, tony Gonzalez, gates, etc and it would be nice, now that eiffert is off the board, to try and snag one in the mid rounds because I feel we really need it; it’s the way the rest of the nfl is going and I am, as mayock would say, banging the table for a red zone weapon tonight or early tomorrow! Any thoughts on Vance McDonald from rice?

      • George H

        April 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        Yeah I like McDonald as well as Kelce from Cinci and for some reason the name escapes me but there is another TE from Stanford. It was the second TE on the team. Zach Ertz doesnt really do it for me, especially in the second.We could definitely use a TE later in the draft that is athletic and stretch the field. Its a shame Saunders didnt work out for the Steelers.

        I definitely agree with you Jalen about needing a redzone threat. Who knows if Plex is even a viable option this year. I would like a bigger WR in the draft sometime within the next 3 rounds. I’m actually agreeing with Doc to a certain degree about Paulson. I think he has shown some potential, I’m nowhere near ready to anoint him Miller’s replacement, but I do think he has some ability to be a play maker.

      • Jalen

        April 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        I can’t believe this the steelers always do fucked up shit, with Lacy still on the board, they go and take someone who isn’t even in anyone’s top ten at RB!?!? Why, sans all their Super Bowl wins, do they thnk they always know more than anyone else. Also, why do they always put their pick in right away, they seem to never let the phone ring to move around the goddamn draft board!

      • Jalen

        April 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        I can’t believe this the steelers always do fucked up shit, with Lacy still on the board, they go and take someone who isn’t even in anyone’s top ten at RB!?!? Why, sans all their Super Bowl wins, do they thnk they always know more than anyone else. Also, why do they always put their pick in right away, they seem to never let the phone ring to move around the goddamn draft board!

        • George H

          April 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm

          Yea I dont understand the Bell pick. Why take him in rd 2 when we have Dwyer and Redman? Margus Hunt, Arthur Brown, and Keenan Allen would of been my pick…. BTW the Bengals are making another fantastic draft

          • Jalen

            April 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm

            Yup and they’re not trying to outthink the room like the steelers do…just take the higher ranked players on EVERYONE’S board and they slowly surpassing us!

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