Earlier today, Ian Rapoport from NFL.com reported today that linebacker Jarvis Jones told him:
If I even get to 17, I don’t think I get past the Steelers. I mean from what I’ve been told, I don’t think I get past the Steelers.
We already knew that the Steelers had brought in Jones for a pre-draft visit, but we did not know the level of interest. The Steelers have been linked to Jarvis Jones throughout the last few months, but what Jones said has confirmed this.
After 28 1/2 sacks the past two seasons, Jarvis Jones was once considered a top 5 pick. What originally dropped Jones down some peoples boards were the questions about his possible spinal stenosis. In 2009, USC would not clear Jarvis Jones of the narrowing of his spine, so it lead to his decision to transfer to Georgia.
Another hit to Jones’ draft stock was the fact he ran a 4.9 40 at his pro day work out.While 40 times do not determine a football player, not many outside linebackers that are successful in the NFL run a 4.9 40 yard dash. It has been reported that Jones was not expected to test well in the first place, so it all depends on each teams preference. Lance Zierlein, son of former Steelers offensive line coach, has said that Steelers G.M. Kevin Colbert is big into production. Not only has Jarvis Jones been productive, he has been very productive in arguably the best conference in college football, the SEC. The Steelers don’t seem to care as much how players workout, so it’s safe to say that they feel the production of Jones in college is the best evaluator.
Will the Steelers pull the trigger if Jones is there when they are on the clock at 17? I wasn’t entirely sure before, but after hearing Jones, this isn’t just the media who thinks the Steelers and Jones would be a great fit. Cameron Heyward said back after the 2011 draft that Coach Tomlin told him that if Heyward was there when they were on the clock, then he would be a Steeler. It could possibly end up the same way with Jarvis Jones. The key thing to remember though is that Jones said “IF I even get to 17…” We don’t know that Jarvis Jones will even be on the board when the Steelers pick. There is a strong possibility that the New Orleans Saints could take Jones at 15. According to Manish Mehta, Jarvis Jones is a player “Jets fans should familiarize themselves with.”
Jarvis Jones could go as early as 9th overall, but according to Jarvis Jones, he won’t be going any later than 17th.
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