November 17, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jarvis Jones (29) reacts to a run play against the Georgia Southern Eagles during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Georgia Southern 45-14. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
After a long, winding road to the night of the NFL Draft, Jarvis Jones has found a home in Pittsburgh. With the 17th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Steelers tabbed the former Georgia linebacker, and while some consider this a “slip” in the draft for Jones, it’s the perfect situation for him.
During the college football season, Jones’ stock was soaring in the eyes of the “experts” (think Mel Kiper and Todd McShay) as he was terrorizing opposing SEC offenses off of the edge. Jones garnered an impressive 14.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss during the 2012 campaign, and it looked as if he would be a consensus top-5/top-10 pick. Unfortunately for Jones, the draft “process” caught up to him, as he ran a subpar 40 time (in the 4.9 second range) and as a result, his stock slipped.
However, being picked by the Steelers is a perfect fit, as they run the traditional “3-4” defense that fits the skills of Jarvis Jones perfectly. He’s a pure OLB in a 3-4 scheme, and the way that Dick LeBeau and company deploy their edge rushers (think James Harrison) will be perfectly suited to Jones.
There is certainly nothing wrong with a “soft” landing spot, and this is certainly that for Jones in Pittsburgh. If things go well, he could be a perennial double-digit sack candidate and Pro Bowl player in the Steelers’ system, and that’s about as good as it gets.