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Friday, April 26, 2013

Jones in the first, now what?

Now that the Steelers have selected outside linebacker Jarvis Jones in the first round of the draft, where do they go from here?

The top needs are, in no special order, running back, wide receiver, safety and inside linebacker, with offensive line and quarterback being depth needs.

There is still a lot of talent available at all of those positions, but particularly at WR, RB and safety, even though the safety position got hit harder than usual in the first round.

My top guys still available in no particularl order would be:
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State - even though it's not a "need"
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Robert Woods, WR, USC
Keenan Allen, WR, California
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International

Given that there are 10 players listed there and the Steelers pick at 16 in the second round, they should have a good shot at one or more of those listed when they make their second selection - given that there are several top players also available at non-need positions.

If I'm making the pick for the Steelers, I take somebody in the second round who scores touchdowns - ie. a running back or receiver.

The only way that changes for me is if Brown is still on the board. A defensive captain at Kansas State, Brown has been compared positively to Ray Lewis in terms of his leadership and sideline-to-sideline playing ability.

But if the Steelers were able to pull off taking Jones in the first round and taking, say, Franklin or Woods in the second, I think fans would be ecstatic.


kkyle said...

I was never super high on Jones but with the way the draft played out it made sense. He's a football player. That's good enough for me.

As for the second, I'm hoping for Brown or Minter or Cyprien or Woods. I'm glad to see all four on your list.

Patrick said...

would love Lacy, Cyprien or Minter.

I never looked closely Lacy until a few days ago. Guy looks like a throwback, built differently than most. I am really surprised he didn't go in the 1st and I think he could be special.

Otherwise, I'm kind of out of the loop on most other players. Ertz wouldn't be a terrible thing.

Referring to Dale's post a day or so ago and the comments that followed, are we now convinced that the Steelers were never getting a future first for #17? Really didn't understand why that option was mentioned.

Tom said...

Would be ecstatic if we end up with Hunter. He's 6'4" 200 lbs, which Ben would love, and if not for a knee injury two seasons ago he would have had the pedigree to have been the second WR off the board in round 1. But he won't be available IMO whereas I can see one of the LB's being around when we pick.

2-LB Brown/WR Hunter/WR Woods

3-FS Phillip Thomas (Shark Thomas will be gone)

4-RB Christine Michael (Le'veon Bell will be gone)

5-QB Tyler Bray (Maturity issues? Meh. Look how far Ben has come... 3-4 years of Bray under Ben and he'll be well groomed)

6- Depth CB

7- LB Mauti/Any Kicker who can produce consistent touchbacks

Adam said...

Dale, what are your thoughts on Jones? Why draft him if they have Worilds, a second round Puck with no starter time, waiting for his chance. Why admit they wasted a second on him before he even gets a shot to start?

Adam said...


adamg said...

As Casey Hampton used to say "the tape don't lie". Jones is a football player. I was hoping for a S, but I'm happy with this kid. The only thing a bit scary is the stenosis. I know he was cleared by the docs, but stenosis doesn't get better, just ask Mario Lemieux.

Anonymous said...

The tape doesn't lie. Watch the Auburn game if you want to see Jarvis Jones' future. He was bottled all game long by a sophomore tight end. Most of his sacks came from completely unopposed rushes. Total waste of a pick. Small, slow, weak.

Slab said...

He set the school record for sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles- in the SEC. Obviously he wasn't getting blocked very often.... You can not like Jones all you want but after you watch the tape, your reasons for not liking had better be stenosis, age, or measurables, because his production on the field can't be reasonably disputed.

Slab said...

The Steelers are in a Keenan Lewis place with Worilds and need a Cortez Allen. If Worilds plays well, someone will give him big bucks for the one year of production. If he doesn't play well, the Steelers will need his replacement any way.

Slab said...

One interesting piece of tape is the 2012 SEC championship game against Alabama. Watch the strip sack where he beats DJ Fluker and Eddie Lacy and then tell me about "small, slow, weak".

Anonymous said...

lol, after that play he got smacked around for a 41 yard Lacy TD run.

He was initially well-blocked on that strip sack too, he was able to recover and get back to the QB. He'll be lucky to have any plays like that in the NFL.

His work out numbers and his inability to disengage from blocks show the weakness. Every scouting report details his lack of a killer first step. Slow.

kyle said...

There's a difference between "lack of a killer first step" and "slow." Nobody in their right mind is saying he has Von Miller's first step but Jones has a very good first step and if you read the break down over at the author details how he combines a good first step with a very good ability to time the snap. He disengages fine because he uses his hands well pass-rushing. He's not great when a run-blocking tackle comes right at him, neither is Dumervil, neither is Von Miller. If Jones can take sharper angles and develop a couple more pass-rush moves then he could be very effective getting after the quarterback.

He's not the most amazing pick ever (gotta be careful with those anyway) but he's a good football player and who else would you have taken? Eifert? Reid? Patterson? I don't see any of those guys as heads and shoulders above Jones. Eifert is not "take the game over" tight end. Reid isn't great in coverage. Patterson is supposedly dumb. The pick didn't thrill me but it made sense.

Easley said...

You have to figure there will be a run on QBs early in the 2nd round, plus Te'o should go early, so a fair number of these guys should be available when we pick.

As for Jones....dude wreaked havoc in SEC backfields every Saturday for 2 seasons. He had 13 sacks this season, including 2 against Auburn when he was supposedly "bottled" up, 2 against Bama's NFL-ready line, and 3 against Florida. Against the very same competition, Mingo had 4.5 sacks. But Mingo measures better in shorts so he's goes early. Those are the kind of draft decisions that separate the Browns from the Ravens, Patriots and Steelers of the NFL.

And yeah, I'm sure opposing coaches left the most dominating SEC pass rusher not named Clowney unaccounted for in their offensive schemes.

marc said...

after watching video of jones this morning what stood out to me more than anything else is that "he never stops". the guy doesn't blow past people, doesn't blow people off the ball, but he is relentless - no matter pass or run. he will fit well into the steeler's defense.

Anonymous said...

I find the criticism of Jones hilarious. Too many Mel Kiper wannabes armed with a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

All you need to know is that he led all of college football in sacks while playing in the toughest conference. And the Steelers disparately need pass rushers to close out games.

marc said...

as for the second round, i'm wondering if they might trade up into the end of the round with so many quality players still on the board.

Dale Lolley said...

Why the pick? As Slab noted, Worilds has one year left on his deal. They are in a Lewis situation again. If he plays well, somebody else pays him. If not, they might not want him.

As for Jones, he had 28 sacks in 26 games at Georgia. I'm pretty sure that more than half of them didn't come with the "tight end" blocking him. And so what if they did? Man of the sacks the Steelers outside backers get is with a tight end blocking them. That's all part of the 3-4.

Slab said...

the criticism of the Jones pick is really silly. Find a scouting report or ranking that has him not ranked in the first round.
Doesn't mean he can't end up being a bust, but there is no way some anonymous poster on a blog can predict that better than every NFL draft guru and the Steelers front office.

Scott said...

I've come around to thinking that Jones will be fine as a pass rusher. My big concern is how he'll do vs. the run, but I'm sure the team feels that with enough work in the weight room + coaching, he can be at least adequate in that department. I doubt seriously that he'll ever be at Harrison's level there (how many were/are?), but I don't that that's really necessary with where the game is right now.

Tom said...

The more I hear the ridiculous criticisms of Jones the more I realize how obvious of a pick this was.

I am just remiss that these anonymous scouts in this thread weren't a part of the draft room consultants to Tomlin and Colbert...
Ignorance is bliss. Quite frankly Jones fell right into our laps, after the conclusion of the previous college season Jones was the consensus #1 defensive prospect in this draft. The Steelers WOULD NOT have drafted him if they felt he was not going to be healthy for the forseeable future. Anyone who listened to the Colbert/Tomlin presser after the pick should need no further explanation. Also, Jones is pretty well spoken and very humble if his conference call was any sign of what to expect from him. Great pick.

Anonymous said...

Smart pick. He produced against top competition. He may need lower body strength, but that's doable. He sounded sharp on the phone. I can't say I know much more than that. Did anyone see Tomlin giddy in press conference? He's a tough laugh, but the thought of others passing because of the 40 had Coach T in stitches.

Zac in Tempe

Kurt said...

Dale, I have a question for you. In your years watching the Steelers and the NFL for that matter, which is better:

- Having a draft like the Vikings this year and sacrificing rounds 2-7 (mostly) so you can get 3 first round picks. The logic here is that a first rounder should be an immediate impact, a starter, and a multi-year contributor.

- Having a normal Steelers draft with 8-9 players drafted. 1-2 may make the roster. 0-1 start their first year. 1-3 become long-time starters in their career.

- Or are they the same?

I'm just thinking we lose so many development prospects via the practice team and just attrition and not having room on the roster that holding out for 7th-round Kiesels just may not be that worth it when we can pick kids up as UFAs. I don't mean every year, but maybe 1 in 4 doing this. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

There's no guarantees those three firsts don't all tank for Minnesota either, though.

Greg Mercer said...

not to mention, a first round contract cost a lot more than a 4th rounder.

Greg Mercer said...

Plus, I doubt the Vikings are too eager to compare trophy cases with the Steelers.

The Steeler way may not be flashy. But it works. End of story.

Henigin said...

Interesting list. Why no NT candidates on the possibilities list?

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see nose tackle as a big need. They just re-signed McLendon and have two young developmental guys. It's a two-down position.

As for the picks, the more players you take, the more likely you are to find some gems. I understand what the Vikings are doing, but if one or two of those guys don't work out, you've busted out on your draft.

Anonymous Brian said...

Don't like the Bell pick. Arthur Brown, Keenan Allen...

Noel said...

I agree. I really expected to hear Brown's name there.

I haven't been keeping up with Spence's status. Anyone have an update on him?

Tom said...

WOW. Dale please help us understand why on earth we would reach for Bell a whole round early? The general consensus around the Steelers blog sites is shock, and that Bell would have undoubtedly been there in Round 3 for us to take.

Even Merrill Hoge was in disbelief when he announced the pick!

Not to mention we let Arthur Brown fall right to the Ravens. We are having the worst draft in AFC North compared to what the Ravens, Bengals and even the Browns have done thus far.

Anonymous Brian said...

Brown going to the Ravens - ouch!

Dale Lolley said...

Lacy had injury problems. The Steelers could walk across the building and talk to the former Wisconsin coaches all they wanted to ask about Ball.
And they took Bell. Haley compared him to Eddie George. They needed a running back in the worst way. The other guys on the roster are complimentary backs.