The Jarvis Jones era in Pittsburgh was a largely forgettable one, so much so that Pro Football Focus named the selection of the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Georgia Bulldog star the Steelers’ worst draft pick of the PFF era dating back to 2006.
Jones missed 13 games in four seasons and recorded just 6.0 career sacks with the Steelers, eventually seeing the Steelers decline his fifth-year option and letting him walk after just four seasons. Jones was such a colossal bust that he never played another snap in the NFL after leaving Pittsburgh despite signing with the Arizona Cardinals in free agency before ultimately being cut by the Cardinals prior to the start of the 2017 season.
The former SEC Player of the Year certainly had the resume coming out of college, racking up two straight years being named a consensus All-American, two straight years of SEC First Team Defense, the Jack Lambert Trophy and the Premier Player of College Football Trophy.
What he didn’t have going for him was the testing numbers, which were dismal and raised a number of questions ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft, which had a number of teams dropping him off their boards completely. Many, that is, outside of Pittsburgh.
Pro Football Focus’s Mike Renner tabbed the selection of Jones as the worst Steelers’ pick of the PFF era, citing the lack of production and the poor testing numbers as key reasons why Jones takes the distinction of the worst pick of the era for the black and gold.
“Jones had notoriously bad testing numbers coming out of Georgia, but the Steelers still nabbed the SEC defensive player of the year,” Renner writes. “After 28 sacks, his final two seasons with the Bulldogs, he managed six in four seasons before exiting the NFL. Thankfully, the Steelers went the opposite route on the edge a few years later and ended up with T.J. Watt.”
The Steelers are fortunate that they corrected an EDGE issue in later years with the selections of Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt in 2015 and 2017, but it’s always fun to look back at the 2013 draft and see who the Steelers could have had in the first round other than Jones. Names include tight end Tyler Eifert, cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Xavier Rhodes, or receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but that’s not entirely fair to do at this point as it’s revisionists history.
Fortunately or the Steelers, they nailed a couple of picks after Jones, grabbing running back Le’Veon Bell in the second round at No. 48 overall, wide receiver Markus Wheaton in the third round, and inside linebacker Vince Williams in the sixth round, making up for the swing and miss on Jones.