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Scouting Report: Jarvis Jones

TALE OF THE TAPE:

Born October 13, 1989

6'2"

245 lbs.

Position: Outside linebacker

College: University of Georgia

STRENGTHS:

  • Jaw dropping first step
  • Relentless in pursuit
  • Always around the ball
  • A true knack for making game changing plays
  • Absolute pass rushing terror
  • Defines the term "explosive"
  • Effective at picking his way through the trash to make tackles
  • Displays unexpected patience when assigned to contain
  • Rarely takes a play off
  • Nice spin move
  • Doesn't shy away from run support. Always trying to rip the ball out.
  • Unexpectedly strong, 300 pound tackles have trouble driving him backward
  • Appears comfortable when asked to drop into coverage
  • Scheme versatile. With a little coaching, could easily fit into a 4-3 ala Von Miller

WEAKNESSES:

  • Spinal stenosis is a huge medical red flag.
  • Has trouble disengaging from blocks
  • His kamikaze style makes him extremely vulnerable to overruning plays and could expose him to injury.
  • When not specifically assigned to contain, has a tendency to run himself out of the play entirely
  • Seems to wear down as the game goes on and becomes much more blockable. Raises concerns about his workout ethic.
  • Doesn't appear to have much room for growth on his frame
  • Can he handle the 16 game grind of an NFL season?
  • Would like to see a 3rd pass rushing move aside from his speed and spin.
  • Wish he had more experience in pass coverage. Frequently only asked to pin his ears back and attack at Georgia.


SUMMATION:

If I made a big board, Jones would be the #2 player on it behind only Luke Joeckel. What's scary is that for a player with 28 sacks, 46 QB hurries, 9 forced fumbles, 44 tackles for a loss and 5 passes defensed the pass two seasons, Jones may only be scratching the surface of his potential. Many of the flaws listed above are the kind that can be fixed through coaching: improved workout regimen, the development of more pass rushing moves and the refining of coverage skills. What can't be taught is the way Jones explodes off the snap and attacks the quarterback in much the same manner a cheetah stalks a gazelle. The best single play that perfectly sums up Jarvis Jones I can think of is in the SEC Championship game when Jones blew past Alabama right tackle DJ Fluker, ran right through the block of running back Eddie Lacy and strip sacked AJ McCarron. Fluker and Lacy are (or will be) both quality NFL talents and Jones made them look ridiculous.

The Raiders defense died last year for many reasons but none as great as the lack of any kind of pass rushing threat. Jones can provide that in spades. The Raiders haven't had a true playmaker on defense in years. They need one. Badly. If Jones is medically cleared by Oakland's doctors, and he's available when the Raiders are on the clock, there's no reason Reggie McKenzie should hesitate.

At his best...he can single-handedly take over a game like he did against Missouri.

At his worst...he is tired, worn down and being ridden out of the play by a single tight end such as late in the game against Alabama

NFL comparison:

James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers - Jones is much better about not taking stupid penalties than Harrison but they're both slightly undersized linebackers who nevertheless play with a "damn the torpedos" style and the ability to make opposing quarterbacks stay awake at night in fear.

(The games used in this evaluation were the 2012 Georgia matchups against Florida, Missouri, Alabama and Nebraska)

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