Pound the Table is in the home stretch and down to its final prospect. Lip-Out is here to tell us about "his guy" Georgia's Jarvis Jones. Here is what Lip-Out had to say about Jones:
The most productive and successful linebacker of the past two years in college football is evidently Jarvis Jones. Jones was top 5 in the nation and first in the SEC his sophomore year with 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. He improved his junior year to an astounding 85 tackles, and led the nation in tackles for loss and sacks with 24.5 and 14.5 respectively. Despite these accolades, Jones has had one of the most scrutinized and degrading offseasons of any draft eligible player according to many. It started with his alleged career threatening neck injury, a spot of concern over his college career. The questions resounded loudly and to the point. "Will his career be cut short?" "Is this a guy a franchise can clear medically for the future?" And by all accounts we have heard heightened optimism towards the health of Jones.
For many now his health is an apparent nonissue. Then came the fruition of his lack of work ethic and track speed. Jones decided to skip out on the combine. Rumored by many to be a save of face by his lack of staying in shape. And finally, at his pro day, he ran an apparent 40 time between that of 4.9 and 5.0, which is atrocious. This is a time that should be that of speedy Defensive Tackle. However, your "track speed" doesn't always correlate to results, and results are the most accurate of tools looking into the scope of a college prospect. And thus we have the introduction of the enigma that is Jarvis Jones.
When you are a Philadelphia Eagle, under the Chip Kelly regime and playing on the highest of stages in the Super Bowl come 2015 in Glendale, Arizona and you look into the eyes of a teammate in the huddle before the first snap of the ball, you don't want to see fear, or evidence that the moment is too big for him. You want to see composure, a fierce competitiveness and drive to take away the hopes and dreams of your opponent, you want someone who has performed on the highest of stages before, and thrived. If you look to the biggest games Jones has ever participated him, he has thrived. Late in his last season this previous year, Jones and his Bulldogs of Georgia found themselves in a dogfight (pun intended) with some Gators. They were taking on Florida to secure a spot in the SEC Championship game. Here was Jones' stat line: 13 tackles, 4.5 for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery. BEAST. Late in the 4th quarter, Florida drove up to the redzone with realistic efforts to tie the game. Jones forced a fumble on draft hopeful Jordan Reed at the Bulldog 5-yard line and secured the victory. In his next humongous game against the godly offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland and his hoss's, Jones had 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble. On his forced fumble he beat two potential first round picks DJ Fluker and Eddie Lacy to plant AJ McCarron on his backside, and left Katherine Webb cringing in cute sympathy. Jarvis Jones has consistently stepped up to the plate and performed, and the numbers don't lie people.
The most immediate ammo that you'll see a critic of Jarvis Jones unload is now that of his atrocious timed speed. A 4.9 40 time and an elite NFL pass rusher go together about as good as Jim Washburn and Juan Castillo, not well. Although many players in the past have proved the numbers against them wrong, this isn't just a time to scratch your head at, it's mind blowing. Another label you'll see many throw out about Jones, and maybe contributing to this poor 40 time, is that he is not a hard worker, he's lazy. You'll probably hear claims like this about most prospects, but the number of times you hear these labels around Jones probably brings some credence to it. He also has been shredded in the run game at times throughout his career, and some say he struggles getting off blocks, and needs to add weight.
The speed times and apparent character flaws are not something to be ignored with Jones, and they haven't been as he has been crushed by many "scouts." However, the man has produced, playing the highest level competition you will see at the college level. If you believe you can bring out the elite pass rusher in Jones that most see as possible, you take him, even at #4. I said it. In all likelihood though, if the Eagles were to select Jarvis Jones it would be from trading back out of #4, or up from the second round pick. NFL franchises are on the constant lookout for players who can rush the passer, a player who can do so effectively makes top dollar and sees fans wearing his jersey in the seats on Sunday. I believe Jones will put up very good pass rushing numbers in the NFL, and it would be a shame to see him fall to a late team because of false skepticism about his flaws.
Next up, our friend with the greatest name ever, mycatsnameismilk, will pitch the first of our three trade scenarios for the 4th overall pick.