Browns' Potential Draft Target: Jarvis Jones

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

Jarvis Jones has been a hot name for a while in NFL Draft circles. His production on the field was incredible and warrants consideration in every draft room picking in the first round.

His "stock", however, has been volatile, ranging from #1 overall to some teams reportedly removing him from their boards. He's been slipping due to health concerns and if you were not aware, there have been well documented reports that indicate Jones has a spinal stenosis condition.

Yesterday, however, an independent specialist "cleared" Jones with no restrictions to participate in football activities:

US PRESSWIRE: Jarvis Jones is getting a clean bill of health.

*Jarvis Jones’ neck injury is starting to look like it might be a non-issue on draft day, and there is little chance he will fall out of the top 10. In a medical report that was sent to NFL teams, leading orthopedist Craig Brigham refutes that Jones ever had a significant spinal cord contusion. When he was at Southern Cal, the pass rusher was diagnosed with one, and Southern Cal did not allow him to play in 2010. Jones transferred to Georgia and played two seasons with no problems. Brigham concluded that Jones either had a very mild incident of spinal cord concussion or merely a stinger that has long since resolved. Even if another similar injury occurred, Brigham concluded it would not be a career ending issue. After recently examining Jones, Brigham concluded, “Jarvis is cleared to play without restriction.”

This new report may have given many Browns fans the "go ahead" feeling to say this is our pick. While this is certainly a positive sign, I would caution that the most important clearance and evaluation will come from each teams’ individual doctors - not an independent specialist. Many draft-niks feel that this injury situation resembles that of Bowers’ knee issue and draft day decent from last year.

But, by many accounts, Jones could be there when the Cleveland Browns pick at 6 and regardless of what we do in free agency, many fans feel he could be the answer for our pass rush needs.

Jarvis Jones’ Second Chance


THE GOOD

According to the nfl.com Jarvis Jones combine profile:

He redshirted the 2010 season in order to be fully healthy and prepared for SEC competition.

That offseason work paid big dividends in his sophomore season, as he was named a finalist for the Butkus Award as the team’s linebacker and garnered consensus All-American and first-team All-SEC honors. The team captain started all 14 games, racking up 70 tackles, 19.5 for loss (which led the SEC) and 13.5 sacks (led the SEC, tied for fifth in the country). His four sacks helped the team win their annual rivalry game with Florida and earned him many national defensive player of the week awards

Jones stayed productive in 2012 as a redshirt junior, leading the nation in three categories: sacks (14.5, school record), tackles for loss (24.5, school record) and forced fumbles (7). Add 85 tackles, 4 passes defended and an interception and Jones was one of the top defenders in the country and was a finalist for the Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski, Butkus and Lott awards.

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· Jarvis Jones production can’t be ignored. That’s the most polarizing thing for me when evaluating him and projecting him at the next level. When I watch his film I see a pass rushing specialist, a la Bruce Irvin

· Jones possess fast burst off the snap and often can get past opposing tackles or pulling guards with his initial speed

· Shows a surprising "pop" in his hands at initial point of contact

· I think he could be used in coverage but his straight line speed seems slow and will need to prove he is able to keep up with RB’s and WR’s at the next level in coverage

· Jones shows the ability to beat double teams, maintaining his motor and still get pressure on QB

· Jones often gets blocked by the TE but has shown the ability to peek into the backfield spying the RB or QB to make sure he sets the edge



THE BAD

While the recent clearance from an independent specialist may seem like good news, team medical evaluations of players are the ultimate measure of medical stock. There has always been contradictory reports regarding Jones’ spinal stenosis.


While I don’t herald these guys as the best source of medical information nor breaking, well founded football information, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller does good work, and here he provides fans a very detailed and straight forward insight into Jarvis Jones’ case of spinal stenosis.

· Once and if you can get past the medical concern, he had trouble reading option plays and play action pass plays, often following the wrong player or over committing to the pass and being out of position for the run.

· He was not consistent against the run, often lacking the ability to break blocks from the TE, or OT.

· His straight-line speed in not impressive and he never ran the 40 at the combine. This will prove questionable in coverage situations at the next level: can he keep up with / move his hips with WR, TE, RB out of the backfield or in slot?

· His frame size isn’t ideal and he may not be able to put on much more weight

· His tackling technique / consistency will need work at the next level as he can often over-pursue in his break down


OVERALL

Jarvis Jones is a great football player with tremendous pass rushing potential at the next level provided he can stay healthy. He has the burst and speed within short distances to beat OL and pulling guards off the snap. His hands are active in pass rush, and he packs more power than he might portray, which often allows him to gain inside leverage and take a line to the QB. Jones is extremely aware of the ball in all situations as is evidenced by his turnovers, forced fumbles, and even his INT where he showed great hands and smarts to exchange the ball to his other hand as he approached tacklers. He shows the ability to fight through double teams and still get into backfield. Typically plays with a high motor and pursues most plays till the end, and this is where we see him cause fumbles and make big plays. He has a nose for the ball and making key plays. But he did appear to take some plays off at times and can be beat in run situations where he has to change direction quickly. He also struggles vs the run and often takes bad angles or over pursues the QB/RB and then has trouble changing direction quickly. Jones possess good short distance speed but not good straight line speed. Shows spin move but needs to develop more pass rush moves to keep OL guessing and off balance.


SUMMARY

Jarvis Jones is a dynamic athlete and football player who gets to the QB and has the track record to prove it.

There are a lot of Browns’ fans that are really hoping we take Jones at 6, especially if he falls to us there. I can see the intrigue and I can imagine a few situations unfolding where it makes sense for the Browns to draft him -- both situations assume medical clearance by Browns’ doctors:

1) Browns stock up on solid pass rushers through free agency in Avril and/or Kruger (among other names in the mix) and draft Jones to be the pass rush specialist, terrorizing AFC North QB’s, while he develops the other aspects of his game under said veteran free agency acquisitions

2) Draft him with confidence that he really is the best pass rushing OLB prospect, as his numbers suggest; that he will be an every down, run stopping, pass rushing beast; and there are ZERO concerns from your medical staff

I see the big plays show up on film and I see the numbers, but I just don’t know if Jones will be an every down guy in the NFL, not to mention the medical cloud that I still believe looms over him. Those two things make me weary of picking him at 6, but that’s just me.

Horton’s system will require "big guys that can run and little guys that can hit" but Jones doesn’t have fast straight-line speed and really wasn’t what I consider to be a big, imposing hitter. That being said, let me be clear that Jones can pressure the QB and beat the OL in pass situations. If that’s what the Browns brass are after then it could very well be Jones’ named called at 6.

I would be cautiously optimistic about the pick. I think we’d be getting a great player, and I’d root for him and support him like I do all Browns’ players ( well that’s not true, there’s always Owen Marecic ) but I just don’t see Jones being the every down type player I expect to get for my franchise at 6. I believe, as stated in my pervious draft profiles, that Jordan, Ansah, Mingo and even Richardson would be better picks for the Browns due to their versatility and ceiling.

FILM BREAKDOWN and GAME NOTES

JARVIS JONES vs ALABAMA

· 1 sack in 3rd qtr was because TE quit on his block

· Good recognition on a few screen plays

· Beats double team and causes fumble on McCarron

· They ran his way often, and he did well set edge but never got off blocks early

· Good motor, always pursuing play

· Creates good pressure off edge, beating man with quick first step, forces QB to scramble

· Sack early in 3rd quarter result of TE giving up on his block, which won’t happen at next level, Jarvis simply spins around to look and TE puts hands down thinking ball is already out

· Misses tackle to stop big run, took good angle; this run starts back to back to back 10+ yard runs to his side

· Neutralized vs run most the game by any combination TE, OG, OT and even chop blocking RB

· Doesn't seem as fast as Mingo; Ansah; or Jordan in space but does has fast first step to beat tackles in pass rush

· 1st and 10 4th with 3:23 left, got owned in play action

Forced Fumble after beating double team:

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JARVIS JONES vs FLORIDA

· Good awareness on fumble play (created by poor hand off exchange on first play) but didn’t beat QB to loose ball scramble

· Put on roller skates vs run around 11:54 in 1st quarter

· Great recognition as shown below in the freeze frame to see the ball in the air after tip by teammate; he recovered fumble at his feet; but didn’t compete for it while in air

· Doesn’t finish on a tackle at end of first

· Good run stuff at beginning of 2ndquarter, throws block and stuffs run

· Excellent, fast, balanced and powerful inside spin, set up RT well, screen pass defeated effort but did pursue receiver downfield

· Seems like he’s got Velcro on and sticks to blocks more often than not

· Great spin move against pulling G on run play to stick run for loss, tackles high, wraps

· Good motor shown in 3rd quarter chases screen

· Easily avoided by QB in a screen pass

· Fumble recovery falls at his feet, QB misses exchange with RB

· Good inside rush to record sack in late 3rd quarter, around the 4:46 mark

· 4th shifting outside, gets great jump on RT, may have been offside

· Sack in 4th quarter, 11:12: hesitates, then uses quickness to get around LT backside sack

· 4th quarter, 3:35: misses key tackle on outside vs QB on the run

· Forces fumble vs TE on pursuit after catch by TE, Reed - happens at end of game * key play * Reed is jumping over a player trying to get into endzone, Jones pursues play after being absorbed by LT, great effort play and ball recognition

Sack - lined up at the top of screen:

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Fumble recovery:

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The ball is knocked loose here, and is up in the air just in between the refs legs:

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Jones eyes the ball, but to my disappointment doesn't engage in play, let's it drop:

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Pick it up here, and in real time he seem nonchalant about it:

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Inside stunt and sack:

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Run stuff:

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End of game fumble near goal line, rushes passer, recognizes pass; drops; pursues TE:

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Here he is at the bottom right of the screen looking at the catch:

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JARVIS JONES vs NEBRASKA: Capital One Bowl Game

· Seemed very explosive on first / second pass play and in pursuit

· Active early vs pass, actively shifting along line

· 1st quarter, 6:40 sheds block well, sticks with gap, stuffs RB at point of contact

· Getting pressure on QB, beating LT and RT often

· Cut block by RB easily knocks him down on the ground

· Seems to have a better motor in this particular game

· 10:27, 2nd quarter: great swim and rip combo, beats releasing Tackle and beats guard to tackle RB

· Good pass rush, beats RT and jumps to disrupt passing QB

· Great job setting the edge and sticking with his assignment in QB scramble situation

· Great job beating RT in and getting to QB; flag on the play for holding surely stopped sack

· Option play causing him fits, chases wrong player or loses balance

· Gains the edge several times in 4th quarter with a very quick first step and bend

· Good pass deflection

QB Pressure:

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QB Pressure and passing lane disruption:

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JARVIS JONES vs MISSOURI

· By far one of the most dynamic game I’ve watched him play

· Big plays seem to come to him; he seems to always be around the ball BUT he’s playing against guys that couldn’t even sniff a NFL tryout or invite:

· 68 Starting RT – Jusin Britt

· 72 starting LT – Elvis Fisher

· Shows good burst on a couple of plays, coming around the edge early

· Still seems to be a liability vs the run

· Has some "pop" in his initial hands contact, but often sticks to OL

· Doesn’t show wrap up technique on tackle vs run, get dragged 7 yards for first down on a play he blew up and was in position to make a TFL

· Gets absolutely dominated on a few run plays, essentially tackled to ground

· Next play he pursues pass, but it’s a run, Jones is behind play in pursuit, QB tried to run for more yards after initial contact which was a big hit, spinning him, Jones from behind tries to wrap up, goes for ball and pops out on QB’s way down

· Fumble recovery by Georgia, QB makes poor read on Option play, tries to hand off but then take back, Jones tackled the RB, ball rolled backwards after botched exchange

· Great play in 2nd quarter around the 6:27 mark where he beats his man off the edge

· Great first step on the play, chases QB out of pocket and reaches him before he can get ball out, causes fumble

· Shows great ability to beat the RT and LT all game on passing downs, tracking QB all game

· Makes an excellent interception where he’s kinda playing a spy in the middle, looking for anything underneath, ball is thrown right to him but he makes the play, shows awareness to switch the ball from left to right arm to avoid oncoming tackles, nearly runs it in for TD ( I believe he was down first )

· Beats the LT again, gains the edge and blindside of the QB, pursues, eyes ball and is aware of QB’s timing, Jones adjusts and times his swipe at the ball perfectly before the QB starts his arm forward and causes another fumble. Really a great play

Forced Fumble vs QB:

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Interception + near TD return:

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Forced fumble again vs QB:

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JARVIS JONES vs AUBURN

· More effective vs run in this game, dominate in pass rush again

· Stick vs run on first play by TE then comes back and beats RT and makes stop at LOS

· Shows good hips and drop vs pass around 8:31 in 1st, gets big push on receiver

· Good recognition of pass play, again dropped into a spy type on the edge, steps up and makes tackles on QB in backfield as he scrambles

· At times he’s matched up vs a true freshman at 6’-7" 272lbs as a RT

· 2nd quarter, 3:30: shows good burst up the seem, beats RT on missed block and then the RB coming up from his set, both players beat to inside, gets to QB for sack

· Jarvis shows good initial burst and has deceptive quickness in tight spaces

· Lacks straight line speed and change of direction which make him liability vs run



JARVIS JONES vs SOUTH CAROLINA

· His dominance is limited vs the #6 team in the country, looks like his pass rush is being absorbed and pushed around the pocket by bigger, faster tackles

· Misses tackle vs Lattimore, sheds his block, steps right up into the hole and meets him there, tries to shoulder tackle and gets bounced off, extra 5 yards gain on play

· Both early passing TD’s he was absorbed and stuffed during his rush

· Running right at him is a great option for South Carolina, it neutralizes his pass rush, and exposes his inability to consistently beat blocks

· 1st quarter at 1:17 and again at 45 seconds – poor pursuit

· 2nd quarter sack comes after QB held the ball for 7 seconds, does a good job to close and stick with play here though

· Closes quickly after beating the OL to the inside as he was shifting

· A few good run stuffs in at end of 2nd quarter as time running out

· First play of 3rd quarter, slips inside the OL and stuffs run in backfield

· Gets stuffed at LOS by TE on several run plays

· Last TD of the game for SC, gets caught peeking into the backfield on the option and QB keeps ball and runs outside for TD while Jones followed RB

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