Aug 10, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones (95) runs past the block of New York Giants guard Chris DeGeare (61) during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Even though he slipped in the draft due to medical concerns, there is some formidable hype surrounding Jarvis Jones after his collective performance during Pittsburgh’s first three preseason games. In fact, some like CBS Sports’ John Breech are predicting that the rookie outside linebacker will win the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Jones tallied seven tackles to go along with a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. The former Georgia Bulldog also had a nice interception nullified by a penalty too. Although the rookie could stand to use a bit more weight to his frame, add some strength, and work on his pass coverage skills, he still the tools to help Pittsburgh’s pass-rush as early as his rookie year.
I certainly hope that Jones gets to see some game action during the upcoming regular season. Moreover, I just hope that he is not sentenced to the bench simply because of his rookie status. The first round pick displayed a “nose for the football” during his first three preseason contact, and I am sure that LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds would not mind being spelled throughout the regular season. Even head coach Mike Tomlin recently said that Jones was in the running to unseat Worilds for the starting job at outside linebacker this fall before he sustained his minor chest injury.
Although Jones might not start full-time, if at all, this fall, he still figures to be an important factor in Pittsburgh’s linebacker corps. If he receives an adequate amount of reps, then he should be a “difference maker” for the Steelers this fall. Whether or not he will be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year is still a question, but his talent and the fact that he plays on an already talented defense will give him a better shot than most from his draft class to win the honor at the end of the regular season.
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