Fantasy Impact: Pittsburgh Steelers Select Jarvis Jones
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Jarvis Jones with the 17th overall pick. If it wasn’t for a disappointing pro day as well as long-term concerns about his diagnosed spinal stenosis, Jones could have been in conversation for a top-five if not top overall selection in the 2013 NFL draft. But for the Steelers, his production is what took center stage in his overall evaluation. And what a show he put on.
In his junior season at Georgia, Jones led the nation with 14.5 sacks and an absurd total of 24.5 tackles for loss, in addition to proving his penchant for creating turnovers with seven forced fumbles. Plenty of those gaudy numbers weren’t just a result of him walking into big plays, but were products of his own disruption.
The question that looms, of course, is how much of that will be seen at the professional level. There’s the possibility that Jones’ spinal stenosis won’t have a major impact on his career, but there appears to be just as much suggesting otherwise. Former Chargers offensive tackle Marcus McNeill had the same condition, and his ability to get onto the field consistently during his career wasn’t exactly great. However, there were plenty of times where he looked like the pulverizing blindside tackle that many believed he could be with a clean bill of health.
College statistics courtesy of Sports Reference.
With James Harrison being released, and with the first-round investment the Steelers have made into Jones, there shouldn’t be much of an issue with him beating out Jason Worilds in camp for Harrison’s old spot, although Worilds was effective when he needed to start due to injury. Jones is of a similar build to the man he’s replacing, and should his health continue to check out, results on the field should ensue assuming he supplants Worilds in time.
Jones ought to be a day 1 starter for Pittsburgh, and as long as he sees the field on a consistent basis, double-digit sacks should not be out of the question. The problem is, because of his linebacker eligibility, those numbers wouldn’t be enough to warrant anything more than a late-round pick in redraft or dynasty leagues.