Salary cap problems handcuffed anything the New Orleans Saints could do in free agency. So this NFL draft is their best chance to improve. Should they move to collect extra picks by offering Jarvis Jones to the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Jones a perfect James Harrison replacement for Pittsburgh
Anyone who understands the Pittsburgh Steelers defense knows they thrive when they have linebackers who can rush the passer. That is what they had for years in former Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison. With him gone, a lot of questions linger about how effective the defense will play. They still have some solid core players like Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley but last year prove it will take more than that. This is why so many draft experts can't see Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones slipping past them in the first round of the NFL draft. His game tape shows a player who can attack quarterbacks from every angle and also drop into coverage. Despite fears around a medical diagnosis called spinal stenosis, he still piled up 14.5 sacks. Since then doctors have cleared him of any threats from the condition. His fit with the Steelers is too obvious to ignore. They need a pass rushing linebacker. He is one of the best in class. It's just a question of if he will reach them at #17.
Kenny Vaccaro among NFL draft prospects Saints can settle for
The way things have shaped up it seems like there are two teams standing between Pittsburgh and Jones. The first is the New York Jets who hold the #9 and #13 picks. Strong rumors believe that isn't a likely landing spots since they figure to spend one of those picks on LSU standout Barkevious Mingo, whom head coach Rex Ryan covets. The other is New Orleans at #15. Their new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan plans to install his own 3-4 scheme. A big problem is a general lack of talent. The Saints need help everywhere on the unit. Pass rusher is among the biggest. So Jones would make a lot of sense. However, New Orleans also has other holes to fill on offense too and doesn't have a lot of draft picks to fill them. That is one reason they were open to trading running back Chris Ivory. Could they become open to moving back from the 15th pick? Pittsburgh can't afford to jump too far up the draft board since they too have needs to fill, but if the Saints were willing to take an extra third round pick they could move back two spots and still take a player like safety Kenny Vaccaro. It's just a matter of weighing pros and cons.
Jarvis Jones is a risk. He has a cloudy medical history and a suspect work ethic. Yet NFL draft experts can't ignore his tape. The kid makes plays. That is why the Pittsburgh Steelers want him and why the New Orleans Saints should offer him to them.
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