The NFL Draft Combine is well underway, and while we’re still a couple days away from seeing our favorite college players run around the turf in Indy, the players have started showing up for their check-ins and medical evaluations. We reported earlier today that cornerback Dee Milliner is injured, but will be fighting through it to practice at the 2013 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. One top-10 prospect with injury concerns will do the opposite, and sit out the combine in favor of his Pro Day. Jarvis Jones, the athletic linebacker and pass rusher from the University of Georgia, will not be working out at the NFL Combine this weekend in Indianapolis.
Jones is a player that I believe will be of interest to the Buccaneers, as he fits a likely need at strong side linebacker, and provides a dynamic option to help give the Bucs a boost for a very weak pass rush. His health is his main concern, considering that he has been fighting a spinal injury for years and is believed to have a limited NFL career ahead of him due to the injury. His decision to pass on the NFL Combine does nothing to calm worries about his health.
The NFL Scouting Combine was originally designed to be a medical check-in for prospects, to make sure that NFL teams knew about the health of their investments. It has evolved into a spectacle attended by hundreds of media members, but the medical aspect remains one of the most important. Jarvis Jones choosing to skip the combine workout means fans won’t get to watch him run and jump around, but he will still be subject to medical evaluations and other interviews and meetings.
Jones was a highly productive player at Georgia, and should be a very high draft pick. But concerns about his health have experts projecting him to go anywhere in the top 20. The Buccaneers might be interested in Jarvis Jones, he must prove he’s durable enough to merit the commitment of an NFL contract. As much as I like Jones as a prospect, its stories like these that will make me more and more nervous should the Buccaneers select him in April. What do you think, Bucs fans? Is a player like Jones worth the risk?