The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones with the 17th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. GM Kevin Colbert said in his predraft press conference that there were 6-8 “special,” impact players in the 2013 draft. The Steelers believe Jones is one of them even though they waited until pick 17 to get him.
Jarvis Jones was a disruptive force for the Georgia Bulldogs. As a featured 3-4 outside linebacker, he made big plays when Georgia needed them most. I remember watching him turn the tide against the Missouri Tigers in their first SEC game. In the fourth quarter of a close game, Jones first intercepted a pass and returned it to the one yard line. On the next series, he sacked quarterback James Franklin causing a fumble. These are the kind of game-changing plays that the Steelers defense has not been making in the last two years. Though they have been stingy with yardage (#1 last season), they have not been generating turnovers (just 20 last season). Jones can help turn that around and make a real impact. He will have to beat out former second rounder Jason Worilds, but he should be able to do that. This will overcome the loss of the formerly disruptive James Harrison.
Still, as Bob Labriola noted, it is last year’s draft class that will decide this year’s success. David DeCastro and Mike Adams need to have Pro Bowl quality seasons to anchor the offensive line. They must keep QB Ben Roethlisberger healthy and improve the running game (26th – 96.1 yards per game). With the early run on premier offensive linemen in 2013, the Steelers hopefully got their trench men a year earlier.
The Steelers have seven choices remaining to add more talent to the roster. As of this writing, they have:
Round 2, 48th overall
Round 3, 79th overall
Round 4, 115th overall
Round 5, 150th overall
Round 6, 186th and 206th overall
Round 7, 223rd overall
The Steelers still need some depth in the secondary, a running back, a receiver and a developmental quarterback. The Pittsburgh Steelers rarely sign big name free agents. They do not trade picks to move up the board. They wait and let the talent come to them. As with Jones, I expect their patience will pay off in the later rounds, too.
Here we go Steelers, here we go!
Sean Durity is a Terrible Towel twirling Steelers fan living in Atlanta. He grew up cheering the 1970s dynasty and appreciates the organization’s excellence even more as an adult. Follow him on Twitter @SeanDurity
More from this contributor:
“2012 Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Strike Draft Gold in David DeCastro”
“Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 Draft Sends Clear Messages”
Bob Labriola, “The key to ’13 will be the Class of 2012” steelers.com
“Steelers select OLB Jarvis Jones in 1st round” steelers.com
“Steelers GM Kevin Colbert Breaks Down Upcoming NFL Draft” behindthesteelcurtain.com