Jarvis Jones Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On December – 15 – 2012

"Jarvis Jones"

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

Jarvis Jones I Georgia I OLB I 6020 I 236 I Junior

40 Time (E): 4.60

Overview: Jarvis Jones has been one of the most productive linebackers in college football in recent history.  The redshirt junior has amassed 42 tackles for loss and 26 sacks in two seasons at Georgia.  He’s a natural pass rusher with plus instincts. He’s a fit as an OLB in the 4-3 or 3-4 and could even play inside in the 3-4. I think his best fit at the next level comes on the strongside of a four man front. Contrary to some speculation, Jones lacks the bulk to play with his hand in the dirt. He’s a game changing rush linebacker that is capable of dominating and disrupting a team’s passing attack. The major downside with Jones is that he isn’t great against the run and there are major medical concerns that threaten to cut his career short.

Pass Rush: The team that drafts Jarvis Jones has to know what they are getting. A natural pass rusher with explosive get off. He will beat the tackle out of his stance on many occasions and can bend the edge with the best of them. While he doesn’t have a wide array of pass rush moves he doesn’t need them with his ability to blow by tackles with speed and burst. Jones’ nine forced fumbles in two season is attributable to his knack for strip sacks as he runs down quarterbacks. With any pass rusher with Jones’ burst/edge speed he will run himself out of plays but you take the good with the bad. He will need to develop from a technical standpoint to be a high volume sacker at the next level. He won’t be able to just blow by opponents in the NFL, so development of some pass rush go-to moves will be necessary.

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Run Defense: Jarvis Jones won’t make a fortune in the NFL as a run defender. He’s not a liability against the run but can be engulfed by blockers, see Alabama. Jones could stand to add 10 pounds of bulk to help him deal with the strength of NFL OL. Jones is capable of making plays down the field with his high motor. He also possess great instincts to recognize the run and does a nice job of shedding blocks and getting in on plays. Again, Jones has a tendency to create running lanes with him getting up field so fast and so far.

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Pass Coverage: A very underrated skill set for Jones. He wasn’t asked to do a whole lot in coverage because he’s so great at rushing the passer. That said, he has solid instincts in coverage and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He could be effective in the NFL in a heavy zone-blitzing scheme.

Instincts/Read and React: Another area that Jones excels in is recognizing run vs. pass. He can diagnose and react as quick as any rush linebacker in the draft. He flows to plays going away with his outstanding athleticism and his motor keeps him in plays down the field.

Size/Strength/Athleticism: His size is a concern. He’s not as long as you would like out of rush linebacker and doesn’t have ideal arm length. His measurements at the NFL Combine will be very important and will be carefully watched by all 32 teams. He possesses explosive power and good but not great athleticism. He could stand to add 10 pounds before he makes his way to the Combine. There are questions about his long speed as he is often outrun and isn’t dynamic in pursuit.

Medical: Jones is a top ten talent but may be forced down draft boards because of medical concerns. He was diagnosed with spinal stenosis while at USC. The USC doctors wouldn’t clear him to play, which caused his transfer to Georgia. There are concerns that this condition could shorten Jones NFL career but we’ll leave that to the doctors.

Bottom Line: Pass rushers are in high demand in the pass happy NFL. Guys like Von Miller and Aldon Smith are changing the value of the position and the way LB’s are looked at in terms of evaluation. Jarvis Jones is an impact rush linebacker but lacks the pure athleticism of Miller or Smith.  There are no doubts that Jones is worthy of a top ten pick if he checks out medically. That’s a big if at this point. As I said, I’ll leave the medical alone until some level of confirmation is achieved, probably after the draft as teams won’t want to release their medical information. I think 4-3 teams should give him a long look as his best fit appears to as SLB. Despite playing in the 3-4 in college, I wonder about his size to play the position in the NFL. He’s about LaMarr Woodley’s height but doesn’t have the bulk that Woodley possesses. Time will tell, but I know that whoever drafts this kid gets a good one.