Friday, April 26, 2013

Jarvis Jones: Glass half-full? Or half-empty?

Jarvis Jones is a glass half-full, half-empty kind of player.

If you think Jones can translate his eye-popping stats at Georgia in the SEC to the NFL, then you can feel confident the Steelers got a top 10 prospect with the 17th overall pick. In that case, we hope to see more of the playmaking ability that enabled Jones to lead the college nation in sacks, tackles for losses and forced fumbles.  

If, on the other hand, you are leery of Jones's 4.92 40-yard dash and spinal stenosis, then you are probably skeptical that he will carry over much of his collegiate success to the NFL. You probably suspect that Jones may have some spotty success with occasional flash plays, but be mostly overwhelmed, out of position and late to tackles in a relatively brief, disappointing career shortened by injury.

One other question remains to be played out: Can Jarvis Jones cover Tyler Eiffert?

That thought occurred to us immediately after we saw the Bengals pick Notre Dame tight end Eiffert (6'5", 250) at No. 21 overall. Those two, Jones and Eiffert, will face off twice a year and will be compared for years to come if only because the Steelers chose Jones over Eiffert, much the same way they selected David DeCastro last year over Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeittler, who went to the Bengals.  

Over the next three years, who will be the more impactful player? Jones or Eiffert?
Next Up
We'd like to see the Steelers draft at least one of the following players in the coming rounds: 
  • Stanford TE Zach Ertz
  • WVU WR Stedman Bailey 
  • Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton
  • Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell 
  • Duke QB Sean Renfree 
  • SMU defensive end Margus Hunt 
  • Kansas LB Arthur Brown 
  • Tennessee WR Zach Rogers 
  • Texas A&M WR Ryan Sproles 
  • Alabama OL Barrett Jones 
Most of those guys will go in rounds two or three, so we'll be lucky if we get one, let alone two or three. Still, any of them would look good in Black 'n Gold.

Mocking Bouchette's Mock Draft
Oh, and one other observation: Although the Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette got the Steelers' selection of Jones right -- and he should have gotten it right, considering that he's the Steelers' beat writer -- Bouchette's mock draft was pathetic; terrible; embarrassing.  

Bouchette totally missed on what was becoming clear in the days before the draft, which was that the top five offensive linemen would go in the top 10 picks. Then he had Geno Smith going at No. 13 (Smith slipped all the way out of the first round). Bouchette also had guard Jonathan Cooper falling all the way to No. 18 (Cooper went to the Cardinals at No. 7 overall). 

Bouchette projected Manti Te'o at No. 23 to Minnesota -- really?  The Vikings were happy to select Sharrif Floyd, and Te'o slid all the way out of the first round. 

The taciturn, lugubrious Bouchette's dismissive lack of interest and corresponding lack of insight in the draft shows once again, as he went through the motions yet another year. Once again, he mailed it in.