In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2013 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on April 25th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones.
Name: Jarvis Jones
Weight: 245 LBS
There’s no denying Jarvis Jones’ productivity. On that level, he’s among the elite prospects in the NFL draft. It’s his ability to stay healthy and his past injuries that prove to be the biggest question marks on his resume.
Jones transferred to Georgia after a neck injury suffered his freshman year at USC, whose doctors refused to clear him for football activities. After being forced to sit out the 2010 campaign due to NCAA regulations, he strung together two strong seasons with the Bulldogs, leading the entire SEC with 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles. This past year as a junior, Jones recorded 70 tackles while leading the competitive SEC in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5). In the process, the outside linebacker took home first-team all-conference honors and was voted a finalist for the Dick Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker.
An exceptional athlete with great speed in the mold of Denver’s Von Miller and Seattle’s Bruce Irvin, Jones is a versatile athlete able to fit into either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. He’s an every down player who thrives as a disruptive force against both the run and the pass. Jones isn’t just successful rushing the passer but is strong in coverage as well, able to hold tight ends in check.
Still, despite his strong skillset and incredible productivity, injury concerns weigh heavily when evaluating his draft stock. He was diagnosed with spinal stenosis back in 2009, which could scare some teams away if doctors refuse to clear him. As a result, projections on where he will land are all over the map and will be one of the more interesting storylines on draft night.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.