You can never have enough pass rushes, and that makes 6-2 and 245 pound outside linebacker Jarvis Jones an attractive option for teams picking in the top 10 of this years NFL Draft. However, Jones will need to have a strong Pro Day after skipping all workouts at the NFL Combine to really solidify himself.
Jones is a pure standup pass rusher as a 3-4 outside linebacker and led the nation in sacks in 2012 with 15.5. He also led the nation in tackles for loss and forced fumbles. There is no denying Jones’ playmaking ability and when you watch him play, it seems like he’s constantly around the football.
When coming off the edge, Jones rushes with speed and uses his strong athleticism to get to the quarterback. He has the ability to sell an inside rush but quickly move outside. This shift gives him a step on pass blockers and aids in him getting around the edge.
Much like Dion Jordan, Jones also has the ability to force quarterbacks to leave the pocket, something that doesn’t show up on his stat sheet. When you can force the quarterback out of the pocket, it makes them uncomfortable and takes away certain reads and passes they could make in the pocket that they may not be able to make on the move. It can also force a quarterback into other defenders to step up and make plays.
One thing Jones will need to work on at the next level in his pass rushing is getting better with his hands. He has room for improvement when getting engaged by blockers. His quickness with his feet allows him to get around a lot of blockers, but if he can get better with his hands, he can be even more dominant.
When it comes to run defense, Jones has shown fairly strong abilities. He keeps his eyes in the backfield and positions himself in such a fashion that he generally can make a play on the ball carrier. He isn’t the biggest linebacker, so he can get swallowed by bigger blockers at times. Again, he’ll need to spend a bit more time on his hand work to try to get better at getting off of blocks.
Check out this video of Jones against Florida, via DraftBreakdown.com.
Jones looks like the type of player that could be plugged into the Eagles new attacking defense very easily. The question will be whether or not they think he has the value at the fourth overall selection. Another thing to consider would be how they value higher: Jones or Jordan. Jordan has a bit more height which could be an advantage and also has the personal relationship with Chip Kelly.
The long-term health of Jones will also need to be taken into consideration. Different teams will evaluate this in different ways, but all will be curious as to whether or not his neck injury while at USC could have an impact on him somewhere down the road.
Andy Reid may be gone but labeling guys as high motor remains. Jones seems to fit that bill and a lot of the turnovers he forced were because he stuck with a play and ran it down from behind. He doesn’t give up on plays and that’s quality you look for in a player at any position.
I do think that Jones’ abilities would be something Kelly and company are interested with their attacking style defense. What I’m not sold on is the value of Jones with the fourth overall pick. If they ended up trading back a few spots, I’d feel better about it. However, I think the fourth overall pick may be a bit high for Jones.