NFL.com senior analyst and former VP of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys Gil Brandt caused quite the stir on Twitter with his comments about two-time All-American and leading SEC sacker Jarvis Jones.
Going to drop Jarvis Jones out of first round. Not sure he’s a first-round talent. #NFLDraft.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 2, 2013
Brandt’s rationale for his comments is as follows, via NFL.com.
“I just see him as a one-position player,” Brandt said Tuesday night over the phone. “I see him as a guy that’s going to play with his hand on the ground and he’s going to try hard, and he’s going to come close to making sacks, but he’s not going to have 14.5 like he did at Georgia.
“I don’t think he can play in space. I don’t think he can be a 3-4 ‘backer that can drop into space and be effective,” Brandt continued. “When you see him come from one side and try to chase down a play, he doesn’t have that speed that you really need to have to play that position when he’s chasing a guy.
“I think he’s one of those guys that when you’re rushing the passer, he’s going to almost get there, but not quite.”
Jones terrorized the SEC with 28 sacks and 44 tackles for loss in just two seasons. The back-to-back first-team All-American hasn’t had the most flattering preparation for the NFL Draft. Jones neglected to work out at the NFL Combine, thus putting all the emphasis on his pro day, which didn’t turn out too well either. He looked sluggish and lethargic in some of the drills, especially his 4.92 40.
But some guys are just gamers, for lack of a better explanation. When the lights come on, the light switch flips. I’ve been around baseball players who had long swings and looked like easy outs in batting practice against good pitching, but when put in game situations, they hit double after double in the gap. Why? They’re competitors; they’re gamers, and when put in competitive situations they thrive. That’s Jarvis Jones. He may not run the best 40 time or have the quickest feet, but he plays much faster than he tests.
Assuming Jones’ neck injury is fine for NFL competition, for which he has already been cleared, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a first-round pick. Jones is an elite pass rusher who stood out amidst the best defensive players in the most dominant defensive conference in the country. Just because someone doesn’t ‘test’ well doesn’t mean they won’t thrive.
Despite his lackluster pro day, Jones still feels like he’s the best player in the draft.
“At the end of the day I think I’m the number one player,” Jones told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after performing for NFL scouts at Georgia’s Pro Day.
And with the numbers he put up, it’s hard to argue with his reasoning. But falling out of the first round is a little presumptuous based upon one pro day showing and one 40 time.
NFL scouts know Jarvis Jones inside and out. They’ve watched film on him for two straight seasons, dominating the SEC and racking up sack after sack.
And if Jones’ crazy production is not worthy enough for a first-round pick, what is?
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