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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Steelers could target Jarvis Jones if he falls

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Pittsburgh will be looking for help along the defensive line. Is Jones going to be available at 17?


The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to reach the postseason for just the fourth time since 2000 and are facing a very important decision in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Steelers were first in total defense in 2012, but this has never stopped them from drafting defensive help before -- it's just part of who they are in keeping up that "Steel Curtain" tradition.

However, nobody in Pittsburgh topped six sacks last season. Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison tied at six each, and Harrison will be 35 next season. Also getting up there in age are defensive end Brett Keisel and inside linebacker Larry Foote. This could conceivably lead the Steelers to draft a versatile defensive edge rusher with the 17th overall pick, and it's possible that one could be falling a bit in the draft. While Jarvis Jones had been mocked in the top five early on, many have been putting him a little bit lower in their projections recently. Josh Norris of in his most recent mock draft has the Georgia Bulldog going to the Steelers in the first:

This is a different type of edge rusher than we are used to seeing from the Steelers, but Jones’ speed around the edge is undeniable. I worry about his ability to add weight and win on a counter move due to a projected lack of length (that is all without mentioning his history of spinal stenosis) but he can definitely get to the quarterback off the end of a line.

NFL Draft Scout currently rates Jones as the top outside linebacker in the draft, just ahead of teammate Alec Ogletree. He is listed as 6'2 and 242 pounds with a 40-yard dash of 4.74 seconds, but that number could change after the combine and Georgia pro day. Will Jones still be available come April? Who will be the best bet to help the Steelers get back to the playoffs?

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.