In each of my mock drafts so far, Jarvis Jones (LB, Georgia) has been among the early first round picks. Playing as an under-sized defensive end, he’s notched 13.5 sacks this season after transferring from USC. He’ll switch to the WILL linebacker position at the next level providing raw athletic talent, instinct and strong pass rushing ability on third downs.
However, it seems we’ll have to wait a little longer to see him in the NFL.
In several interviews during the season, Jones told reporters he wouldn’t declare. Considering his relatively quick rise to prominence, you had to wonder whether he’d change his mind after getting a high first round grade from the draft committee. Except, according to Pro Football Talk’s John Taylor, he never even filed his papers. “I love being here. I love the guys I play with. I love my coaches. I don’t think I’m ready to let that go yet.”
That’s an honest and open assessment, perhaps a refreshing one. It could hurt his stock in the long haul because it’ll be difficult to match the performance-level he achieved in 2011. Other players – Earl Thomas being a great example – have enjoyed fast starts in the NFL after just two years starting experience in college. Jones is a big talent and he’ll be one to watch next year, he’ll be among the top prospects available in 2013. In my next mock draft on Wednesday, I won’t include Jones which will shake things up a bit. Last week I removed Manti Te’o (LB, Notre Dame) and Mohamed Sanu (WR, Rutgers) after they made it clear they wouldn’t be turning pro.