Friday, February 22, 2013
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 3
By Edward Aschoff
Our countdown continues with one of the nation's most ferocious pass rushers from the last two seasons:
No. 3: Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia, RJr.
2012 summary: The consensus first-team All-SEC member and two-time All-American led the SEC in sacks for the second straight year after registering 14.5 on the season. He also led the nation in sacks and tackles for loss (24.5). He was third on Georgia's team with 85 tackles, including 52 solo stops, picked up an interception, broke up three passes, and was credited with 39 quarterback hurries on the season. He also led the nation with seven forced fumbles and recovered two fumbles of his own.
Most recent ranking: Ranked No. 1 in the 2012 preseason countdown.
Making the case for Jones: After a fantastic SEC debut in 2011, Jones picked up right where he left off by once again becoming one of the nation's most dominant players. Jones even battled nagging injuries all season, but was still able to wreak havoc on just about every opposing backfield he met in 2012. Jones was even a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate during the season, after an overwhelmingly dominant performance in Georgia's win at Missouri in Week 2. Against the Tigers, Jones logged nine tackles (six solo), two sacks, forced two fumbles and grabbed an interception that basically put the game away for the Dawgs in the fourth quarter. He was even better in a crucial win over Florida in late October, where he registered a season-high three sacks and 13 tackles (12 solo), and forced two fumbles, including one that gave Georgia the ball very late in the fourth quarter and essentially sealed the win for the Dawgs. Jones would have been even more productive if injuries didn't keep him out of two games. Jones registered at least one tackle for loss in the 12 games that he played in and had a season-high 4.5 in the win over Florida. Jones wasn't just a terrifying player off the edge, he was also very good in coverage and had the ability to chase down numerous players from any part of the field because of his speed. Jones was the quintessential playmaker on defense and knew exactly how to change the direction of a game, making sure that every team that faced Georgia had to specifically game plan to try and move the ball away from him. He left school early and is expected to be a top 10 pick in April's NFL draft.
- No. 4: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M, Jr.
- No. 5: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama, Sr.
- No. 6: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M, Jr.
- No. 7: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama, Jr.
- No. 8: Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama, RJr.
- No. 9: AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama, RJr.
- No. 10: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama, Jr.
- No. 11: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia, Fr.
- No. 12: Barrett Jones, C, Alabama, RSr.
- No. 13: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, RJr.
- No. 14: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU, RJr.
- No. 15: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Jr.
- No. 16: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M, Jr.
- No. 17: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri, Jr.
- No. 18: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida, Jr.
- No. 19: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU, RJr.
- No. 20: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama, Fr.
- No. 21: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee, Jr.
- No. 22: Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida, Sr.
- No. 23: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt, Jr.
- No. 24: Matt Elam, S, Florida, Jr.
- No. 25: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State, Sr.