The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones with the 17th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Pros: Jones has outstanding speed around the edge and can turn inside to the pocket in a hurry. Even when he's blocked out, can move back inside the octagon for the sack. Bursts off the snap to establish advantage against outside blockers. Gains speed quickly from wide formations. Gets under blocks when turning the edge -- already has a consistent "dip-and-rip" maneuver. Reads the action well at the line when asked to do so. Outstanding chase player who will take the play to the sideline. Good wrap tackler. Redirects well in space and will stop plays away from his starting point. Quick enough to drop into coverage and mirror tight ends and even outside receivers well. Tackles for loss by sliding off blocks -- does this better than he takes on blocks directly. Has an embryonic bull-rush but needs to develop better strength and leverage to effectively use it.
Cons: Needs open space at the edge to consistently disrupt -- tends to get wrapped up with inside contact. Got a lot of his sacks running around blockers. Will chase and read more than he alters blocks with pure power off the snap. Sometimes has blind spots on rushing lanes when he's edge-rushing; doesn't always push to re-direct. Tall (6-foot-3, 235 pound), rangy athlete who comes off the ball high (necessities of a two-point stance) and will lose strength and leverage battles in one-on-one situations. Not functional as a lineman in short-yardage situations -- gets washed out in power plays. Needs to develop a better array of hand moves, a spin move, and an inside counter before he'll be able to disrupt at the next level.
Has been cleared of the spinal stenosis issue, but some teams may still red-flag him. Slow 40 time at his pro day, but plays much faster than that on tape.
What he brings to the team: The pass-rush potential the Steelers need. As a wide outside linebacker, or weakside defender, Jones has the ability to disrupt opposing offenses at an elite level. However, the fact that he hasn't yet developed a full palette of pass-rush moves is a two-edged sword. Comparisons to Von Miller when Miller came out of Texas A&M in 2011 are legitimate, though Miller had a better set of hand moves, and under the right circumstances, Jones could have the same type of NFL impact.
Was it the right pick? Yes. The Steelers need Jones' edge disruption, and Dick LeBeau will know how to bring him along.