NCAA Georgia's Jarvis Jones lining up to be top NFL draft pick

SCOTT MITCHELL, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:36 AM ET

He’s the kind of prospect NFL teams drool over and the kind of player college coaches have to find creative ways to stop. Or even slow down.

He’s Jarvis Jones, and this time next year, he could be dominating NFL Sundays.

But right now, the 6-foot-3,

241-lb. Georgia Bulldogs fourth-year junior linebacker is focused on getting the ’Dawgs over the hump and back into the national title picture, which becomes more and more of a possibility with each convincing win.

While he sat out last week’s win over Florida Atlantic to rest up a nagging groin injury, Jones dominated the Missouri Tigers two weeks ago with a monster game.

Chew on this: Six solo tackles, three assisted stops, two tackles for loss, five QB pressures, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception, which he returned 21 yards to the Missouri one-yard line.

He also cooked the post-game meal, drove the team bus and washed his uniform the next morning.

It was a big-time effort from a big-time player.

With every NFL team looking for athletes to rush the passer, Jones has gone from really good prospect to great prospect, even ascending to No. 1 on NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr.’s draft board earlier this week after USC QB Matt Barkley stunk up the joint against Stanford.

Reactionary? Sure, maybe a little bit. But it sure makes a lot of sense.

“I’d be excited for Jarvis to get drafted that high,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt told the Savannah Morning News. “It’s just a matter of when. When that day comes, I’ll be the first one to be genuinely thrilled for him.”

Jones, who was a four-star recruit out of Carver high school in Columbus, Ga., and actually went to USC for his freshman season before transferring back home to be closer to family, isn’t just a pin-the-ears-back-and-rush-the-passer player. The do-it-all outside ’backer profiles as a 3-4 edge rusher, but scouts are seeing a player who’s stout against the run and can drop into coverage, all of which is evidenced in the aforementioned stat line.

Here’s more evidence of what’s really important to the 22-year-old monster

“Man, if they put two guys on me, somebody will be free to make a play, which is OK with me,” Jones told the Athens Banner-Herald. “I want to excel, but if the offence wants to gang up on me and one of my teammates makes a play, that means we have a chance to mess up their gameplan.”

Jones is expected to return from his balky groin Saturday to “mess up” SEC rival Vanderbilt’s gameplan.

scott.mitchell@sunmedia.ca


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