Jarvis Jones could be a better fit for Seattle than any other team in the league. At 6-3 and around 240-5lbs he’s not the prototype 4-3 end. I’m not completely convinced he’s a great fit as a 3-4 OLB. Jones needs to be at the line, rushing the passer, in a scheme that will get the most out of what many will view as an undersized pass rush specialist.
He’s not the ‘ideal LEO’ as Bruce Irvin was described earlier this year. He’s not going to run a 40-yard-dash as well as Irvin. He’s not quite as lean as either of Seattle’s current pass rushers. But Jones has a superior all-round skill set – combining strength, speed, athleticism and motor to create the best overall defensive prospect eligible for the 2013 draft.
Need any further evidence he fits Pete Carroll’s system? Carroll recruited Jones for USC and he spent a year with the Trojans before suffering a neck injury. Disagreements ensued between player and school over when he would return due to the serious nature of the injury, and he chose to head home and transfer to Georgia. He sat out 2010, but returned to the field last year to record 13.5 sacks – the highest in a loaded SEC. He started the 2012 season in the same vein, with 1.5 sacks against Buffalo and then a performance for the ages against Missouri on the road.
Jones dominated the Tigers on their big night (first game in the SEC). He was a constant force off the edge and seemingly always involved. He rushed the passer, he forced turnovers. He ended with a stat line that included two recorded sacks and an interception. He deflected a pass, he forced fumbles. And yet the numbers don’t seem to tell the whole story.
If the raw athleticism wasn’t enough, he played with such an intensity. He’s dragging along that Georgia defense, which was missing several key starters again on Saturday. Does he have ideal size? No. He’s not JPP or DeMarcus Ware. Does his size matter? Absolutely not. He’s not some work-out-warrior or a rusher who relies on one skill (speed, power). He’s the complete pass rusher in college football right now. Jones is good against the run, he can drop into coverage. He does it all.
It’s funny that he wears #29 for Georgia because his attitude and persona compares well to Seattle’s own #29 – Earl Thomas. He’s not a talker, he’ll keep himself to himself most of the time. But he has that fire, and players gravitate towards him because he leads by example. He’s also got that similar playmaking knack – 17 sacks in 1.2 seasons with Georgia. Thomas had eight interceptions as a redshirt sophomore alone. Like Thomas, Jones might get marked down for a lack of true size – but both players have elite potential.
All being well, Seattle won’t be picking early enough to get at this guy. The ambitions of this team go beyond another nice draft pick this year, and one defeat against Arizona doesn’t change that. What’s more, the Seahawks are hoping ‘pass rusher’ will be near the bottom of the list of needs next April after drafting Bruce Irvin and re-signing Chris Clemons. The offense could be the priority going forward, especially if the team wants Russell Wilson to start and succeed long term. In the unlikely event the Seahawks are in position to draft Jarvis Jones, however, drafting him should be one of the easiest decisions this franchise ever makes.