Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was spotted at Georgia pro day on Thursday, where outside linebacker Jarvis Jones had, what was reported to be, an unimpressive showing.
Jones reportedly turned in a slow 4.9 forty yard dash, and he didn\’t move overly fluid in the linebacker drills either. The 6 foot, 2-inch linebacker did not work out at the NFL combine last month because his training had been delayed while he consulted with doctors about his spinal stenosis that he was diagnosed with while initially at USC. Jones did, however, meet with several doctors while in Indianapolis who believe, he was misdiagnosed in the first place.
Jones has long been linked to the Steelers as a possible first-round selection due to their need at the outside linebacker position. Longtime starter James Harrison was released a few weeks ago, but the team believes that Jason Worilds, their second-round pick in the 2010 draft, is ready to fill the shoes vacated by the former Defensive Player of the Year.
Jones slow forty yard dash time, however, is not as concerning as his ability to play the run. He showed during his time at Georgia that he can get after quarterbacks, but was often handled with ease when run at. Forty times, as we all know by now, are overrated. As former NFL general manager Charley Casserly noted on NFL Network, via a report by Pro Football Talk, there have been other outside linebackers that have run in the 4.9 range at their pro days before that have excelled in the league. Casserly specifically pointed out Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs as an example. Suggs, who, by the way, did weigh 15 more pounds than Jones at his pro day, had a 40 time in the 4.9 range as well.
Despite his poor showing on Thursday, many still believe that Jones is a top 15 player. Should he drop to the Steelers, it might present an opportunity to trade down a few spots if another team is interested in moving up for him. This assumes that the Steelers don\’t deem him worthy of the pick.
While most of the media attention Thursday was on Jones, he wasn\’t the only Georgia player on display, as scouts and NFL team personnel were also present to observe defensive tackle John Jenkins, linebacker Alec Ogletree, and safeties Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams in addition to several more Georgia draft hopefuls.
Just because Tomlin was present, doesn\’t necessarily mean that he was there to see Jones, as all the players listed above certainly could fit Steelers needs as well.
Below is the post pro day interview that Jones had with the media that was present, and you can read more about the Thursday pro day at Georgia at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.