With the offseason in full gear, it’s time to review the 2013 season, particularly the rookies. After months of pre-draft drama, it’s important to look back and evaluate the success of each position group. If your favorite team was in the market for an offensive tackle, did they take the right one? Needed an edge rusher? Which one fell to your team?
This is by no means a definitive draft grade on any of these players, just a one-year look at their role and production, and perhaps a look forward to how they might improve.
Round 1, No. 17: Jarvis Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers
Total Snaps: 646
Defensive Right End: 4 (0.6%
Linebacker: 642 (99.4%) *320 at ROLB, 245 at LOLB
Jones stepped right into the Steelers’ 3-4 scheme at rush linebacker, a role he was very familiar with in college at Georgia. He played in a standup roll on all but four snaps while spending time at both left and right outside linebacker. Jones played most of his snaps in Pittsburgh’s sub packages, but he also saw 213 plays in their base 3-4 set.
Pass Rush Snaps: 308
Total Pressures: 28
Pass Rushing Productivity: 6.6
Despite leading the first round edge rushers in hurries with 25, Jones notched only three knockdowns, none of which came in his last six games. Like Jordan, and most other edge rushers, Jones was rendered useless against Joe Thomas in Week 12 as he posted a -3.8 rush grade, but he bounced back to beat the All-Pro tackle for two hurries in the last game of the season. Jones’ best effort came in Week 6 against the New York Jets as he posted a +1.8 grade, but that was his only game “in the green” as the game changing pass rushes were few and far between in his rookie season. The Steelers will need a big step forward if he’s expected to carry on their tradition of elite pass rushing outside linebackers.
Jones picks up his only sack of the season against C.J. Spiller:
Against the Run
Run Snaps: 236
Run Stop Percentage: 5.1
Despite a mid-season lull against the run, Jones showed well overall, finishing strong with a +3.1 grade in his last two games. There were times that he was overwhelmed at the point of attack, but for the most part, Jones showed an ability to get underneath blockers. Despite notching only 11 run stops, he did a fine job of affecting the run by defeating blockers and affecting the point of attack.
Jones stands up TE Jordan Cameron, takes on the pull block from the right guard and squeezes the gap:
Coverage Snaps: 102
Pittsburgh asks their outside linebackers to do more in coverage than most teams, so Jones led the rookie edge rushers with 102 coverage snaps. He struggled in space at times as three of his six missed tackles came in coverage and just as Jordan was able to run with Gronkowski down the field, Jones was unable to find the ball when Gronkowski beat him down the seam for a touchdown in their Week 9 matchup.
Jones’ ability against the run was a good sign in Year 1, particularly with some showing concerns about his size coming out of college. Like the other players on this list, it’s his pass rushing ability to determine his fate, and he certainly has some work to do in order to take the next step in that department.
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