After managing just one sack in his rookie campaign, Jarvis Jones has faced some rightfully deserved criticism. Jones was selected 17th overall in the 2013 draft but did not produce on the field in his rookie year despite having the chance to play 646 snaps. Marcus Mosher from Cover32 suggested that Jarvis Jones is on his way to be a bust due to that lone sack. Personally I think it is absurd to call him a bust after just one year. Jones did get outshined last year by Jason Worilds, who had a career high eight sacks. However Jones was drafted to play behind LaMarr Woodley, but Woodley only played in 11 games and only recorded five sacks last year. It may have been a bad thing for Jones to be rushed into a starting role so early into his NFL career.
Not all Steelers rookies are meant to be in the lineup right away. Look at Lawrence Timmons, he didn’t even start a game until his second year and made hardly any impact his rookie year. Sure that was partly due to James Farrior and Larry Foote playing the same position as him. Just imagine if Farrior had gone down with an injury in 2007 though, whose to say Timmons would have played well at all. He could have easily been labeled a bust after just one year. Thankfully Timmons got time to mature while playing behind solid pros. Jones was thrust into the lineup because Woodley could not stay healthy, and frankly Woodley wasn’t very good ever since he got paid. I’m not trying to make excuses for Jones, but it’s hard to blame him for his lackluster rookie year.
There will be no room for another down year though because the Steelers will need Jones to step up thanks to the departure of Woodley and also the uncertainty of Worilds’ contract. The cards are set up nicely for Jones. A starting spot and a new coach who dominated his position just a few years ago. Jones will be the starter at right outside linebacker. He also has former Steelers great Joey Porter coaching him now. Porter has taken the 24-year-old Jones under his wing as a protegé according to ESPN. There will be no excuses this year if Jones fails to produce. Dick LeBeau knows how to rush the passer which was Jones’ specialty while at Georgia. I refuse to call Jarvis Jones a bust after only one season but if he only produces one or two sacks this upcoming year it will be hard for anybody to prove that he wasn’t a wasted draft pick.