Published Jan. 18, 2013
By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones had been one of the most dominant football players in college football the past two seasons. He's destroyed the SEC for those two years, as many consider him to be one of the most talented players in the 2013 NFL Draft class. Jones is on top of my 2013 NFL Draft Big Board, as well as ESPN's Mel Kiper's.
However, after speaking with scouts at the East-West Shrine Game who have Jones in their territory, they say they expect Jones to slide down and fall out of the top five next April.
The scouts said there are a few reasons that could add up to Jones falling into the 6-10 range. First of all, the scouts said that Jones is not a good workout guy. They don't believe that he is going to test well or stand out in the Combine or pre-draft workouts. Area scouts who cover Georgia say that Jones is not a weight-room guy. He doesn't put a lot of work in during the week, but would show up on Saturday and dominate naturally.
They said that Jones is a good guy and a good teammate, but just isn't a tireless worker. As one scout said, "Don't get me wrong, if you watch his tapes you'll say he is worth being the No. 1 rated player and going in the top five of the draft. You can watch him on Saturdays and see that this guy is animal. He's clearly the best player on the field, but not a guy that you'll be in love with during the week. Add in the medical concern and with the testing, and I think he's going to slide some on Draft Day."
Jones' medical condition is a spinal stenosis that happened as a freshman at USC. On a routine hit against Oregon, Jones sustained the injury. A specialist told him he would be fine, but USC's doctors wouldn't clear him and told him he should retire from football. After transferring to Georgia, Jones broke out as one of the best players in college football.
As a junior, Jones had 85 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, three passes broken up and one interception in 2012. Jones had massive performances against Florida and Missouri with consistently good outings all year. Jones led the nation in sacks and for the second straight season had the most sacks in the SEC.
In 2011, he tied for the second-most sacks in the nation, 13.5. He also had 70 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.
Jones could be a classic example of teams overthinking the draft process. Over the history of the draft, good players have slid because of an unnecessary medical concerns or not working out well at the Combine. If Jones plays in the NFL like he did at Georgia, he'll reward whomever takes him on Draft Day with plenty of teams feeling regret.
I wasn't that familiar with the background on Jones. I have seen him play 3 or 4 times this year and was most definitely impressed. If he falls to #8 I would pull the trigger in a heartbeat. I think he would be a perfect fit for our new defensive scheme. I also think that some of the veterans on this team could get him to ramp up his workout routine on off days. I could see Mario taking him under his wing a bit. Either way, if he does drop to #8, I think it would be a mistake to pass.