Georgia's pass rusher will not be the top Dawg at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones will watch from the sidelines at this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, rather than prove he is the top Dawg in front of the league’s assembled decision makers. Instead, the USC transfer will wait to run, jump and lift at Georgia’s Pro Day on March 21.
Jones is making a huge mistake by skipping the “Underwear Olympics.” Not only is he dodging a chance to compete against his peers in the spotlight, he is jeopardizing his current status as the top 3-4 edge rushing linebacker in the Class of 2013. Jones and his team of advisors are making the wrong decision for a variety of reasons:
Undersized Speed Rusher
The main skill Jones is marketing to potential NFL employers is his ability to get to the quarterback and apply pressure on passers — in a hurry. That requires running. If Jones ran a lightning fast 40-yard dash and floated through the cone drills at the Combine, he would likely cement his status as the best pass-rushing prospect available. Since he’s not built like DeMarcus Ware, timed speed will be even more important to Jones’ stock. Being afraid of the 40 is a sign of weakness.
Along with serious medical concerns swirling around Jones’ reported spinal stenosis, there were also lingering groin, ankle and shoulder injuries that caused him to miss time at Georgia. Of course, Jones will be required to participate in the NFL’s rigorous pre-draft medical exams at the Combine. But his reluctance to put his physical ability on display on the biggest stage raises doubt about both his current fitness as well as his confidence in his short-term and long-term durability.
Not No. 1 Prospect
Unless a prospect is already the consensus No. 1 overall prospect in the draft, there is always room to move up draft boards. Jones is a top-10 talent by most accounts, top-5 by many and in the ballpark for the top spot according to a few. Why would Jones pass up the opportunity to steal the show at the Combine and prove without a shadow of a doubt that his athleticism matches his on-field, on-tape production? Is he content to just hang on to his top-10 status? Has he already lost his competitive fire, before even being drafted? The Kansas City Chiefs’ No. 1 overall pick is up for grabs. Why isn’t Jones chasing it?