With the 15th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers proudly select:
Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia
Player bio from CBSSports.com:
Great American novelist Thomas Wolfe popularized the expression, "You Can't Go Home Again" with his classic of the same name published posthumously in 1940. Jarvis Jones, a Columbus, Ga. native who originally signed with Southern Cal, would certainly beg to differ.
Jones earned playing time immediately with the Trojans, seeing time primarily on special teams and as a backup strong-side linebacker in their 4-3 alignment. He suffered a sprained neck in the eighth game of the season (Oregon), however, and missed the rest of the year. Team doctors refused to clear him for participation the following spring and after seeking other opinions, Jones elected to transfer back to Georgia.
He sat out the 2010 campaign per NCAA transfer guidelines before absolutely exploding onto the SEC scene the following season. Primarily asked to rush the passer as an outside linebacker in Georgia's 3-4 alignment, Jones led the SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5) while posting 70 tackles overall (second on the team by two stops). He earned consensus first-team all-conference honors, quite a few All-American nods and was voted a finalist for the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker.
Having earned First-Team All-SEC honors in each of his two eligible seasons at Georgia, Jones has proven himself to be a playmaker against both the pass and run. The 6-2, 242-pounder led the country in three critical statistics -- sacks (14.5), tackles for loss (24.5) and forced fumbles (seven) despite missing two games (Kentucky, Florida Atlantic) due to injury.
As dynamic as he is, the redshirt junior's medical grade will ultimately determine his draft status. He was diagnosed with a mild case of spinal stenosis in 2009 and some NFL doctors may be unwilling to clear him.
Elite playmaker off the edge. Possesses an explosive burst to complement very good timing to consistently cross the face of offensive tackles and get them backpedaling. Has enough flexibility to dip under their reach and close on the quarterback, demonstrating strong hands and an eye for ripping the ball free for the sack and forced fumble. Stronger than he looks and has an effective bull-rush. Also uses this strength to be surprisingly effective in setting the edge despite routinely giving up 70-plus pounds to opponents. Locates the ball quickly and pursues with passion. Athletic enough to drop back into coverage.
Size limitations. Possesses an impressive build but a frame that may not have much room for additional mass. Relies an awful lot on speed, showing few complementary pass rush moves. Was diagnosed with a spinal stenosis condition while at USC, a condition which has led some notable NFL players to end their careers rather abruptly, including San Diego Chargers Pro Bowl left tackle Marcus McNeill a year ago at just 28 years old.
Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos -- Jones isn't quite as explosive off the snap or as reliable an open-field tackler as Miller but he's close. The medical concerns are frightening but make no mistake, Jones is a Pro Bowl talent whose impact in the NFL will be immediate.
Rationale for the pick from BowlenBall
Best player available, and a top-3 player in this draft IF his back holds up....
Pick made at:
3:50 p.m. ADT (Abu Dhabi Time)
6:50 a.m. EST
5:50 a.m. CST
4:50 a.m. MST
3:50 a.m. PST
2:50 a.m. AST (Alaska Standard Time)
The St. Louis Rams and Rohirrim are now on the clock....