Thursday, April 25, 2013
Steelers draft Jarvis Jones in first round
By Jamison Hensley
In a draft that has not gone as expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the few teams to make a predictable pick, taking Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones with the No. 17 overall pick. He becomes only the second linebacker to be drafted by the Steelers in the past two decades, joining Lawrence Timmons (2007).
This pick made a lot of sense because Jones can be the heir apparent to James Harrison, who was cut by the Steelers after refusing to take a pay cut. Jones is expected to battle Jason Worilds for a starting outside linebacker job. He led the nation with 14.5 sacks in 2012.
The Steelers picked Jones over Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, who was reportedly on Pittsburgh's radar.
Jones had been projected to be a top-five talent but he dropped to the bottom half of the first round because of a disappointing pro day and medical concerns. He was diagnosed with stenosis, the narrowing of the spinal cord, early in his college career.
I think it's worth the risk for the Steelers, who generated 37 sacks last season (tied for 15th in the NFL) and 35 sacks in 2011 (tied for 17th).