Going into the 2013 NFL Draft, I wasn’t too high on Jarvis Jones and was hoping one of the top guards would drop the Steelers in Chance Warmack or Jonathan Cooper. I didn’t really have a good reason to be down on Jones and was going more just on a feeling I had about him. Once the Steelers did draft Jones however, I chose to trust the front office and hope that I was proven wrong. We can all agree or disagree with any pick in the draft but honestly, what do any of us know? Even if I disagree with it I’ll always trust the Steelers to make the right decision.
Jones was a monster in college and compiled 28 sacks and 9 forced fumbles in his two seasons at Georgia. The Steelers have struggled to get to the quarterback the past few seasons and Jones was seen as an investment into the future at outside linebacker.
Even with my own concerns about Jones, I thought he would have a fairly successful rookie season for the Steelers. I felt that way mainly because I did not have much faith in the incumbent Jason Worilds. Before this season, Worilds just did not stand out to me and looked like a career backup in my opinion. Obviously he has proved me and any other doubters wrong, at least for this season, and has been the best pass rusher for the team. The problem with that is the fact that there is no way that the Steelers are going to be able to re-sign Worilds after this season now.
Besides, after drafting Jones in the first round there is no way they would just give up on him because of one very good season from Worilds. Jones has not been impressive and though he has shown flashes of his potential, he has looked overmatched more often than not.
The thing we have to remember though is that Jones is only a rookie and it normally takes players a while to get acclimated to the Steelers’ defense. So while Jones has not lived up to his first round expectations to this point we need to all exercise some patience.
Jones has gained valuable experience as a rookie this season and all we can do is hope he develops into the playmaker the Steelers need. To condemn him though as a bust at this point would be a huge mistake. Let’s see what kind of strides Jones makes next season because with Worilds gone, he will be the starting outside linebacker opposite LaMarr Woodley.