LIONS INSIDER

Notebook: Questions still surround Georgia LB Jarvis Jones

Posted Feb 23, 2013

No one denies Jarvis Jones' talent, but he has also been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which is the narrowing of the spine

Jarvis Jones

INDIANAPOLIS - Nobody questions how good of a football player Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones is.

Jones is a dynamic playmaker who terrorized the SEC last season to the tune of 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles. He's a playmaker on defense and the best linebacker prospect here at the NFL Scouting Combine.

There's no denying his talent. The questions most teams have when it comes to Jones are all medical.

He suffers from spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine. In Jones' case, the "slight" narrowing is in the C4 and C5 vertebrae.

The condition, first detected at USC as a freshman, prevented him from getting clearance from USC team doctors to play for them.

After leaving USC and going through extensive testing, Georgia cleared him and he played the next three seasons without incident.

But when NFL teams are considering a multi-million dollar investment, they do their homework.

"Most of the doctors checked me out and they said that I'm fine," Jones said of the extensive testing he underwent Saturday at the Combine.

"I played two years of SEC football, redshirted, practice every day and never had any symptoms. I feel like I'm healthy. The doctors felt like I was healthy today and I'm excited."

That seems to go against a Profootballtalk.com report that said the injury has made some teams take Jones off their draft board completely.

There has to be a concern by teams regarding a player that plays a high-impact position like linebacker.

Can a team like the Lions, who've been linked to Jones in a number of Mock drafts, take that kind of risk?

"It depends on the severity of it," Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said of Jones. "Whatever it is, if it affects the guy's ability to play, obviously, it's a concern for us.

"I don't know, in Jarvis Jones' case, he was playing some pretty good ball out there and the neck looked fine to me."

Mayhew said every medical situation is very different and teams have to treat it as such – with an open mind.

"Go back to the Jahvid (Best) situation," he said. "He's had four concussions – two in college and two with us. Ernie Sims had four in college and he never had a concussion with us. It just varies and every guy's situation is different and all of these guys deal with those injuries differently.

"There are some guys where their arm could be hanging off and they're going to go out there and play no matter what. Some guys have a hangnail and they can't play."

Jones said he's most comfortable at a 4-3 outside linebacker at the next level and his ability to have a long career is centered on his ability to protect his neck by strengthening it and using proper technique.

"Technique goes a long way," Jones said. "As you see, a lot of veterans are still playing because they have great technique. I have to be careful about my technique and how I play this game. I do the extra stuff of protecting my neck and building up my shoulders and seeing what I hit.

"I think I'm fine and I heard a lot of good news today, so I'm excited."

How excited teams will be about Jones will depend on the final medicals reports, due in the next few days.

COMBINE MEASUREMENTS OF NOTE

• Arkansas Pine-Bluff tackle Terron Armstead's unofficial 4.65 40-yard dash was the first real "wow" moment of the Combine workouts Saturday. His official time based on the two runs is 4.71.

• Lane Johnson, a tackle from Oklahoma, who most analysts consider the third–best tackle prospect behind Luke Joekel and Eric Fisher, ran the 40 in a solid 4.72 seconds. A former tight end, Johnson showed his athleticism.

• In all, a record number of six offensive linemen broke the 5.0-seconds barrier in the 40.

• Note Dame's Tyler Eifert might have solidified his status as the best tight end in the class in this class, after a 4.68 40-yard dash, and a 35.5 vertical jump.

JORDAN A FIT WITH LIONS?

Oregon's Dion Jordan is an interesting pass rushing prospect in that he's 6-6 1/2, 248 pounds and extremely athletic. He fits into the mold of what Lions look for in their edge rushers.

But Jordan, in his own admission, might not be the best fit, and he said he's had most of his contact with 3-4 teams. The Lions run a 4-3.

"I get a lot of talk from 3-4 defenses, mainly because that's what I played at the college level and it's the best spot to utilize my athleticism," Jordan said.

"It shows my athleticism. It shows that, like I said, I can line up all over the field and get after the quarterback, it shows that I understand defense, just adjusting to the defense on the fly, and just my speed. Just having the speed to come off the edge every play. I never came off the field."

Jordan has surgery scheduled after the combine to repair a torn labrum he played through during the season. He told reporters he'd be out three or four months but will be ready by training camp.

Jordan fits the mold, but is he the right fit at No. 5?

CARRADINE TO HAVE PERSONAL WORKOUT

Cornellius "Tank" Carradine went from backup to starter to ACL recovery in the span of one football season.

The Florida State defensive end led the Seminoles with 80 tackles and his 11 sacks were second only to teammate Bjoern Werner before suffering a torn ACL in the fourth quarter of a November game against rival Florida.

He says he's about a month ahead of schedule and expects to be 100 percent in April.

"So before the draft, I'm gonna do everything they did at the combine, run the 40, do position drills at my pro day."

That's seems very ambitious considering the timing of the injury, but Lions receiver Ryan Broyles did the same things before the draft last year, when he worked out for scouts to show his progress.

Broyles, obviously, wasn't 100 percent, but it was important to show scouts he was on the right track. It resulted in a second-round selection by the Lions.

Carradine is hoping for the same result.

"I know with my knee situation you never know how things are going to work out (in the draft)," he said.

"(Teams are) going to get a great person, a guy that's passionate about the game of football, a guy that's a team player, cares about his team, loves to win, just a great guy overall.

"A guy that's got a motor, a guy that is physical against the run, disruptive against the pass, and a guy that can shoot through gaps, and a guy that's just all over the field, and a guy that you'll want on your team that will come in and make impact plays on your defense."