Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/21/13
Jarvis Jones is one of the best prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. Many have him pencilled in as a Top 10 pick.The former member of the Georgia Bulldogs possesses the speed and instincts to be an elite play-maker on defense. He is able to play a 4-3 or 3-4 outside linebacker which will no doubt help his draft stock with teams who play either scheme vying for his services.Jones started off with the USC Trojans in 2009 before transferring to Georgia for the start of the 2011 season (as per NCAA rules, a player must have to sit out one year of eligibility which Jones did in the 2010 season).His draft stock could take a hit however, with the news that he suffers from a rare spinal condition called spinal stenosis which  means the tubes in his spinal column are narrower than normal.VitalsHeight: 6'2"Weight: 242 poundsPosition: outside linebackerSchool: Georgie BulldogsClass: JuniorCollege Production/StatsJarvis Jones saw playing time as a freshman with the Trojans as a backup strong-side linebacker and key special teams contributor. He suffered a neck sprain in his eighth game and missed the rest of the season. However, Trojan team doctors did not clear him to join the team in the spring which motivated Jones to decide to transfer.After joining the Bulldogs, he exploded in the SEC. In two seasons as a starter for the Bulldogs, Jones recorded an impressive total of 28.0 sacks, 44.0 tackles for loss, and 9 forced fumbles. His 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss, and 7 forced fumbles in 2012 all lead the nation and cemented his place as a top draft prospect.He was a two-time All-SEC first-team member during his two years with Georgia and was also a finalist for the Butkus award which honors the best linebacker in the country.StrengthsJarvis Jones possesses many intangibles which make him an elite prospect. He has an elite burst off the edge and combined with great timing, allows him to get into the path of the quarterback quickly. Possesses good instincts which allows him to read and react to situations as unfold.He possesses great athleticism which allows him to easily move around the confined space of the pocket. He is able to drop into coverage and can also play against the run. Jones is a lot stronger than he looks and often powers past offensive linemen who are 50-70 pounds heavier than he is.  WeaknessesJones has a rare spinal condition called spinal stenosis which causes the tubes in his spinal column to be narrower than they would be in a normal person. He was also not cleared to play by the Trojans as a freshman due to a neck injury.Besides physical weaknesses, Jones is strictly a stand-up linebacker. He has no experience of playing face down as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. He's often aggressive and can over pursue on running plays and be caught too far outside on some edge rushes.Potential Landing SpotsThere are several teams in the Draft who will be looking to add Jarvis Jones to help out their pass-rushes.The Arizona Cardinals have a need at pass rusher that some experts are ignoring in favor of the offensive line help that the Cardinals also need.The Cleveland Browns (who pick before the Cardinals) have switched to a 3-4 defensive scheme and Jones will be a perfect fit for them.The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking for a replacement for the aging James Harrison and Jones shares a lot of the same characteristics as Mr Harrison, so that's another option.Other teams who will benefit from drafting Jarvis Jones include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Oakland Raiders - all five teams struggled to get sacks last season and were at the bottom of sack rankings.Draft ProjectionMany mock drafts have him going in the Top 10 to the Cleveland Browns (6th overall) but a few have Jones sliding to as far as 15th overall to the New Orleans Saints. So it's difficult to predict where he will end up. On one hand he has tremendous ability and skill, but on the other he has a couple of red flags over his spinal condition and previous neck injury from his Freshman season at USC. Jones could therefore go at any spot between the 3rd overall pick (Oakland) and the 17th overall pick (Pittsburgh). It may not seem realistic to think that Jones could slide, but with the NFL Draft anything is possible.NFL ComparisonNo player currently in the league compares with Jarvis Jones as much as Von Miller of the Denver Broncos. They both possess high motors and the ability to get to the quarterback. While Jones' injury concerns are scary, make no mistake that he is an All-Pro talent and will take the NFL by storm much like Von Miller has.
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