Deep into the 2013 NFL Draft season the over analyzing of prospects has reached insane levels of absurdity. Which makes this NFL Draft season essentially no different from any other NFL Draft season but doesn’t mean the absurdity is any less……..well…..absurd. For example, the case of one Jarvis Jones, DE out of Georgia has seemingly been one over-analysis after another to the point where some actually suggest that he may slip into the 2nd round of April’s draft. Preposterous and simply crazy, to say the least.
As far as pass rushers go in this year’s draft, simply put; Jarvis Jones is the best. Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying he’s the most complete OLB prospect available, I think that title should go to Oregon’s DE Dion Jordan but Jones is the best pure pass rusher and there’s literally no debating that. After a 13.5 sack campaign in 2011, Jones followed that up with 85 tackles, 24 tackles-for-loss, 14.5 sacks, 1 interception, 7 forced fumbles, and 2 fumbles recovered in 2012. I’m seeing a lot of Jones opposers out there attempting to downplay these numbers with illogical and asinine arguments like, for example, mentioning previous SEC dominant pass rushers that have “failed” or are “failing” in the NFL. I hope that most are sharp enough to dismiss these and other ridiculous and irrelevant “arguments re Jarvis Jones”
LB Jarvis Jones is just the edge player the Jets defense is lacking.
The Jets (and any other team looking for a pass rusher in the first round, especially in the top 10) will have to essentially determine if with their first round pick, do they go with Jarvis Jones, an elite pass rushing prospect who should virtually have no problems getting after the QB but will probably need to be coached in other areas en route to becoming a complete OLB or do they simply pass on him and go in another direction to prevent from having to do so AND, do they feel Jones is worth it? That is essentially what it will boil down to from the Jets perspective and for the record I do believe they should take that chance on Jones and that he is in fact worth it. Simply put; the Jets need to draft that player that can generate sacks on his own and in my opinion Jarvis Jones is that player. Over the past couple of seasons the Jets, who are being led by a “defensive genius” in head coach Rex Ryan, total sack numbers have been stomach turning at BEST. In 2011 they were ranked 17th in the league with 35 sacks and in 2012 they were ranked 25th with 30 sacks, not really a good thing especially when your offense has problems holding it’s own more times than not over that same time frame and hasn’t actually gotten better over the years.
The Jets have a promising interior defensive game with the emergence of Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson, so adding a player with Jones’s attributes on the D-line with Coples and Wilkerson, a player that can essentially dominate the edges, a player that has the speed and skills that warrants a legitimate game plan from the opposing offensive coaches, a player that has to be accounted for on every snap, a player that CAN garner sacks on his own by utilizing his own skills and attributes will pay dividends for the Jets defense. In a league that is becoming increasingly pass oriented his pass rushing skills are at a premium and lets be honest, the days of giving Tom Brady (and other opposing QBs but especially Tom Brady) 10+ seconds in the pocket to do whatever the heck they want to do need to be over like YESTERDAY. Gone are the days when coming up short on 3rd and long when the Jets desperately need a stop is actually expected. The Jets need to get some fire, speed and tenacity on the edges of their defense and this is what Jarvis Jones can bring to that defense. Lets be clear about something; every top pass rusher in this year’s draft class has red flags and question marks so teams that are looking to take a pass rusher in the first round will essentially have to determine which “flawed” pass rusher on their respective boards has the best coachable attributes and the most upside and that prospect this year is Jarvis Jones.
Jarvis Jones didnt have a good Pro-Day but his gameday film simply is too good to be ignored.
Since the start of the off season Jones’s medical history has been dissected and scrutinized to no end bringing forth the “issue” of his Spinal Stenosis, a potential career ending condition that has reportedly caused teams to drop Jones down their draft boards out of fears that his NFL career will be short lived despite Jones being cleared medically by not only University of Georgia doctors but outside doctors as well. In early March, Jones visited Craig Brigham, a Charlotte orthopedist, who concluded that Jones only had suffered a mild spinal-cord concussion, which had been resolved for some time and basically gave Jones the green light to continue football activities. The other “knock on Jones has been his unspectacular Pro-Day in which he reportedly ran a 4.8-4.9 40, not good for a 245 DE and is cause for a bit of concern. The only reason why the concern shouldn’t be as serious as some would like it to be is primarily because Jones has proven over the past 2 seasons that the Pro-Day was nothing but an aberration. Over the past 2 seasons, in the best conference in college football, Jones has amassed 28 total sacks and has essentially cemented himself as one the premiere pass rushers in college football in that same time frame.
I believe that Jones possesses the ideal skill set to be an elite pass rushing OLB at the NFL level and that belief stems from personally watching Jones play on a weekly basis. In the games/on film Jones athleticism jumps out at you as he’s an explosive pass rusher with elite straight line speed for the position, has excellent burst off the ball, has explosive and fluid change of direction with the ability to stop, start and turn on a dime and explode out of cuts. I’ve watched numerous games in which Jones times the snap very well, with his high and consistent motor he seems to compete with the snap count on every play and takes it as a challenge in order to eventually beat it. He has a quick and decisive spin move and couples that with his excellent closing ability as he goes hard as heck on every single play and will not give up on the QB until the play is over. This is what the film shows you, this is the football player that stands out on tape. I see a player that is ready to contribute on the next level and bring those coveted attributes and skills to a Jets team that has been lacking a player of his caliber for quite some time now. Jones’s tape is too good to ignore which makes his bad Pro-Day results, though a bit concerning, pretty easy to ignore. Well, pretty easy for me!