“I’m going to let Baltimore know they got a steal in the draft.”
A Real Steal
Selected in the 5th round by Baltimore, Arthur Jones could be a real steal. The 6-3, 300 pound defensive tackle from Syracuse was rated as high as a first or second round talent by analysts and highly touted as indicated by draft reports. So why the 5th round? Injury concerns caused his stock to slide.
This year the defensive tackle position was deep in this year’s Draft pushing a player with durability concerns further down on teams boards. Jones had a pectoral injury in his junior season and then the knee injury in his senior year. The knee injury forced him out of his final three college games and the Senior Bowl, which many teams use as a qualifier for the beginning of the draft process. In addition, he was unable to workout at the Combine, which leaves teams unable to evaluate. Jones did excel at his Pro Day and the pectoral injury he had his junior year seemed not an issue as he had 30 reps at 225 lbs. on bench press.
Teams are reluctant to take the risk of signing a player who had a series of injuries. Yet, injuries happen all the time, its part of the game. There is a positive way to look at it, here is a player who bounced back twice with injuries and performed at high level. It is safe to assume that the Ravens liked what they saw in Jones who received All Big East Award honors and was an impact player on defense.
Jones will first have to run the gauntlet of the rookie rigors before he makes an impact in Baltimore. If his perseverance is any indication, Jones will have a good chance to prove that he is a real steal.
Jones was with his family when he received the call from the Ravens to tell him he would be the fifth round selection. “When I got that phone call, nothing mattered anymore. I’m going to let Baltimore know they got a steal in the draft,” as reported by www.syracuse.com.
Arthur Jones Tidbits:
– Wrestled and played football at Endicott High, NY
– Was a college teammate of Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain
– Two time First-team All-Big East Conference and an All American Candidate
– 38.5 Career tackles for losses, most by an interior defensive lineman in Syracuse Univ. history
– Brother Jon is a mixed martial arts fighter and other brother Chandler is a defensive end for Syracuse
Some of the Draft reports on Arthur Jones:
“…where Jones will be drafted has less to do with his talent and much more to do with what the doctors say. If he checks out medically, there’s no doubt he’s a first round type of talent, especially to a 3-4 team, looking for a DE who can get pressure on the quarterback in the base set. But his stock could slip out of the first round, because teams don’t want to commit that first round money to a player who might not be as durable as they should be.” http://draftboardinsider.com
“Projected Round: 2 There’s no doubt that Jones has been constantly double-teamed this season, which has limited the amount of splash plays we’ve seen on his behalf so far in his senior season. But that hasn’t caused the highly decorated lineman to tone down his motor one bit. Jones’ all-out hustle, enthusiasm, and leadership skills make him a solid individual on a personal level.” http://www.nfldraftbible.com/
“Arguably one of the top defensive players in the Big East the last two seasons, Jones has the size and strength to play tackle in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. Injuries have probably knocked him out of being one of the top 50 players selected.” www.USAtoday.com