When the 2012 college football season ended, mostly everyone projected Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones to be the first defensive player off of the board as the outside linebacker was certainly going to be a top five pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Of course everything doesn’t always go according to plan.
Because of some early health concerns and a poor workout, Jones’ stock slipped and as a result he was there for the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 17 overall pick.
But while Jones dropping to the Steelers ultimately ended up costing him millions on his rookie contract, he’s glad it happened.
“I’m glad I slipped,” Jones said as the Steelers began their rookie minicamp Friday. “I think this was the best choice of the whole draft, me being in Pittsburgh. This is what I was hoping for and wishing for. It happened and it’s just like a dream come true for me.”
By slipping out of the top five, Jones is about $8 million lighter in the wallet, but while he may not have been a top five pick in the draft, I think when it is all said and done Jones will have a top-five pick impact on the Steelers defense.
Jones led the nation last season in sacks (14.5), tackles for loss (24.5) and forced fumbles (seven) despite missing two games. However despite that, three teams selected pass rushers ahead of Jones.
He should fit great into the Steelers scheme, although it’s not the typical way the organization finds their linebackers. Jones is the first projected outside linebacker they have picked in the first round since Huey Richardson, which if you are scoring at home was 22 years ago.
Jones is in a good situation as a rookie as he has the opportunity to make an impact right away.
He’s glad he slipped in the draft and so are the Steelers.