What The Steelers Drafting Of Jarvis Jones Means To LaMarr Woodley & Jason Worilds

Now that the Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, let\’s look ahead to what this means to starters LaMarr Woodley and Jason Worilds.

As far as Woodley goes, it means absolutely nothing. His contract was restructured again this offseason, and baring a serious injury, or another huge drop in production, he will remain in Pittsburgh at least through the 2014 season. For those of you that think cutting Woodley next offseason is a legitimate option, keep in mind that it will cost the Steelers over $14 million in dead money to do that.

The situation with Worilds is much different. Unless Jones really blows the doors off of the Steelers former second round draft pick in training camp, he will be hard pressed to see the field in 2013. That is not uncommon for defensive rookies and certainly shouldn\’t be expected. Worilds, however, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and the drafting of Jones now makes it appear that he is a lame duck regardless of how good of season that he has.

Should Worilds blow up in his first year as a full-time starter, the Steelers would have the option of placing the franchise tag on him until a long-term deal could be worked out, but looking ahead to the 2014 salary cap situation, I don\’t really see that as a legitimate option this far out. remember, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is due an extension and center Maurkice Pouncey figures to be right behind him.

Perhaps the best way to look at this is that Worilds is now auditioning for free agency next offseason. It will be extra motivation for him to stay on the field and live up to his draft status. Should he be unable to do that, his market value will remain low and Jones will be expected to step in as the starter in 2014.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    How position flexible is Worilds, think he could line up as a ILB?

  • JT

    Ideal would probably be Worilds playing decently, Jones showing up big in splashes. And signing Worilds to a moderate contract for depth. This team needs more than 2 OLBs, and it wouldn’t hurt to find a way to keep Worilds around. He’s already shown he’s a good backup, the question comes about his ability as a starter.

  • SteelersDepot

    I doubt that happens.

  • RW

    My guess is we draft an ILB somewhere in this draft to learn behind Foote.

  • SteelersDepot

    They would have to sign him to an extension prior to the start of THIS season. After this season, he would be foolish not to test free agency before taking what the Steelers would want to offer him.

  • hergieburbur

    Glad to hear he is working with Tom Shaw, that makes me feel better about his work ethic.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I’ve mentioned this before, but Woodley and Worilds are playing for 1 spot. The decision will be influenced by their play and both cap and cash. They simply can’t pay Woodley another $10M if he doesn’t produce. They’ll cut him & push the dead money to 2015 if he does not produce next year or if Worilds plays better and is cheaper.

    The Steelers will largely let this play out on the field and they’ll bite the bullet if there is a dead money hit.

  • lefnor

    This selection means that Worilds is a 2nd round bust (Tomlin against Sean Lee…), Carter was a wasted 5th round pick, and the promising Robinson has no chance to start in the near future. And of course Thaddeus Gibson is nowhere near the team now.

    But my main problem is that Jarvis Jones is not a good player. He is college gimmick.
    He is stiff, plays too tall, has no real pass rushing technique. He is made by the creative Georgia DC. Terrible pick.
    Congratulation, Mr. Tomlin. You are a real pass rusher expert!

  • JT

    That’s true. How much room are we anticipating plus Colon money minus Rookies? I don’t think a Sanders contract is something to consider anymore. Can they offer him a decent deal?

  • dgh57

    I agree, and wish we could get more players to join them. Especially Woodley!!

  • westernsteel

    If Worilds has a great season, which is possible, Jarvis Jones could be another Cam Heyward. Eifert would have at least started for this 8-8 team.

  • JT

    If only Tomlin and Colbert had your superior scouting abilities. Maybe they’ll consider you for the apparently soon to be vacant positions.

  • Chris Ranieri

    That’s a real bummer honestly. I think Worilds has a lot of potential, and I also believe I’m not the only one who has those thoughts.

  • JT

    Well, let’s say Worilds is ready to break out. What’s going to stop him from taking his talents to South Beach as well? Just because he may be a baller, doesn’t mean we can keep him. Can’t forget about that.

  • nbaballer1


  • JT

    Worilds has a great season, how do the Steelers pay him?

  • dgh57

    Didn’t you have us drafting ILB Michael Mauti from Penn State in the 7th rd. in your final Mock Draft?

  • Chris Ranieri

    Not forgetting about that. That’s why I’m saying it’s a bummer we might never cash in on the dividends of our investment. Three seasons, entering the fourth, developing under our program and he blossoms just in time to take a fat check from a different team. Just yesterday he was being talked about as the future of our linebacking corp in succeeding Harrison and now one draft pick and he is as good as gone? That is indeed a bummer.

  • TheBlitz

    There is reason why the FO wanted to keep James Harrison around for a year or two. I believe they clearly know more than any of us what they have in Worilds. Drafting Jones doesn’t change their plans at the position. Just considered it as if they signed a young James Harrison (not saying JJ is JH) to a very cheap rookie contract. JH would have been cut outright if they thought Worilds was ready to play at a high level.

    Depth at the position is very important. It makes our 34 D better. We need turnover and this D hasn’t produce any in 2 years. Imagine all the fresh legs we will have at the LB position and the kind of impact they can bring. Worilds still has to prove himself. He wasn’t going to get a big contract this offseason. We all know that. So if he leaves as a FA because of a great season then it’s better to have a guy like JJ waiting to take his spot versus a 43 DE turned into 34 OLB.

  • TheBlitz

    Great point!

  • TJimmy

    I really think that Jones will take over at some point during the season. He will not need the adjustment that most Steelers linebackers need because he already plays the scheme.

    That also means Worilds may not have enough snaps to be a high dollar free agent next year. Thus Worilds could be a Steeler for years to come and add the needed depth to the linebacker position

  • SteelersDepot

    My answer was to the question about Wiorilds moving inside. See how they are nested below his post?

  • SteelersDepot

    See how it says that I replied to Kevin? You people kill me.

  • TJimmy

    It’s that predicament that the Steelers didn’t want to be in: Unable to afford Worilds next year if he does well, and be sitting around with no linebacker next year.

  • Bartholomew Wimer

    Sean Lee is an INSIDE LB, so why mention him when complaining about OUTSIDE pass rushers? He also spent last year on the IR… Jason Worilds may still be a great player but he was behind a former Defensive MVP and a Pro Bowler. Worilds will be given a chance this year to produce and earn a decent contract. “Next Man Up” is the motto, and Jarvis (widely compared to Von Miller) is just filling the pipeline until Woodley outplays his dead money, or his hamstrings fall off, whichever comes first. Just quit being so sensationalist and negative with this “Terrible…Worst Nightmare”… and realize there is a plan here. Jones is a stud, you should be excited we got him.

  • dgh57

    What can I say, its been a long day and its late!!

  • Bartholomew Wimer

    I believe the concept is that they sign Worilds next year to a reasonable longterm deal and groom Jones to replace Woodley in 2015. Worilds will likely do the same as Woodley a few years ago, sign the F-Tag (9.7 mil) then work out a long term before camp. Cap Space is tight but there will be room after Taylor and Polamalu take a pay cut / restructure.

  • David Edward

    I always try to be as rational as possible in my evaluations so here’s a thought. Since 2007, Colbert and Tomlin haven’t done particularly well drafting LBs. It’s challenging, so I’m not knocking them here…it’s hard to project college DEs as OLBs and get it right. Read what they said about evaluating Jones. They said it was fun and easy because he was already playing in a similar 34 scheme. Again, not trying to totally knock them here but Tomlin is only average at best at deveoping talent…if you know and understand football, you know that’s true. So a guy like Jones makes sense to them because there’s less risk in terms of developing him. If you look at all of their defensive players drafted since 08, all have developed slower or produced less than expectations…other than maybe Cortez Allen. I think Tomlin and Colbert realize they haven’t done the best job evaluating the talent. That leads me to believe they will go with the guys who are easier to evaluate.. like Jones.

  • LucasY59

    I think it is a good move to get Jones, Pass rush was one of the biggest weaknesses in the D last season, and having high quality depth in the OLB’s is a luxury in the league. I think Eifert would’ve been able to contribute this year, but was never in the top 10 talent rankings, (Jones was) the only other player that had a chance of being taken over Jones was Lotulelei (If he had slid 3 more spots) I think that would’ve been a bigger miracle than DeCastro making it to 24 last year.

    Jones is the defensive player that has the best chance of getting some playing time as a rookie (not likely because rookies don’t play for Lebeau) he has good experience and production as a 3-4 OLB that was mostly dominant in college, If Woodley gets hurt (or continues to be a non factor when playing) move Worilds over to the left (where he played the best last year) and give Jones a chance to play.

    If they can afford to bring back Worilds after this season, I think that is a good move as well, having 3 good pass rushers is almost as good (or important) as 3 good CB’s, I think Worilds will play himself out of the Steelers Budget, so the Jones pick will be even more important.

  • Sven_Hunkstrom

    If our system is so complicated it cannot be grasped by a rookie, then it is incumbent on the coaches to translate or simplify. And if the reluctance to play rookies is some antiquated tough guy ritual, the front office needs to remind the coaches it’s not 1950. This is not a team that can afford, tactically or financially, to waste the 17th pick in the draft on a redshirt.

    Plenty of other defensive rookies across the league have wreaked recent havoc from Day One. I refuse to believe our defense is that much more complex than everyone else’s. Perhaps some of the recent lack of development on the defensive side owes to the failure to get players integrated early.

  • gdeuce

    why would they replace woodley? he just had 2 injury riddled seasons in a row

  • gdeuce

    give Jones a chance, he hasn’t even hit the field yet

  • Maurice_hill_district

    You wrote on another thread just that he has a bad work ethic. I hadnt heard or read that anywhere else, so where did you read that he has a bad work ethic? I want to know if thats true, or just bull.

  • lefnor

    Because reportedly there was a huge argument in the war room between Tomlin (Worilds) vs D coaching staff (Sean Lee) at our 2nd round pick.

  • lefnor

    Haha, funny guy.

    But unfortunately facts are facts.

  • Jazz

    Well, I’m not going to lie, I was very critical of this pick due to his poor work ethic. The kid stunk at the combine and at his Pro Day, was it just a fluke, or was it a sign of what is to become? I still say taking this kid is risky, if he had a poor work ethic in college, it will possibly follow him to the pro level as well. Look at Woodley, signed that huge contract, has been nothing but a shell o himself every since. I hope I’m wrong, I really do hope so.

  • Jazz

    I agree with most of everything you mentioned, Tomlin and Colbert together have done a piss poor job of evaluating talent. I don’t understand why Colbert is still there, the guy came from the Detroit Lions, enough said. I also think Mike Tomlin made some horrible coaching decisions last year during games, just awful! I hope he was reprimanded for his poor decision making during games. Now, I disagree with Tomlin not being able to develop talent, that’s not his job, that should clearly fall on the shoulders of his position coaches. If you have followed the team off-season closely, there has been quite a few changes since January. But I do agree, it falls on Tomlin’s shoulders because he is the head coach. And let me say this, “He Did A Piss Poor Job Of Coaching In 2012.” I don’t like the pick, he had a poor wok ethic in college, I don’t like it. If you’re picking at number 17, grab an impact player that can come in and help you day 1.

  • JC

    In my opinion, this is a clear statement that they have little confidence in Jason Worlids. I think Jarvis Jones was intriguing to the Steelers because of his ability to create turnovers which is where the defense struggled.

  • rob.pghsteelersfan

    I have been saying that I wanted the team to go offense in the in the first 3 or 4 rounds. This is not the pick I would have made. I don’t understand why that just because this is Pittsburgh there has to be this great defense and great linebackers. Even at the expense of offense. Maybe it’s an age thing, I don’t know. It is not the 70’s. “Defense wins championships” is a myth.

    However, Jones being selected is reality. Hopefully he produces at a high level. As for you guys saying he could replace Woodley, that is not going to happen. Worlids also will not replace Woodley. Jones is also not insurance in case Worlids does not perform or depth. He may start in ’13 and will certainly be the starter after that regardless of what Worlidsdoes this year. The only way Worlids comes back is for backup pay if it’s even offered and he accepts.

  • LouPGH

    Sometimes Tomlin’s in-game management makes me want to pull my hair out, I agree.

    I am glad you pointed out that it is not primarily his responsibility to develop talent. (Look at the difference a good position coach like Carnell Lake can make.) It is on Tomlin, to some extent, to ensure young talent is being developed. Similar, but it’s more about his ability to recognize when the problem is an ineffective position coach versus a problem with the player. But do you think we should fire Keith Butler because Worilds, Carter, and Sylvester haven’t worked out yet?

    So maybe then the problem is identifying talent. Dave did a piece earlier this draft season that pretty much showed the Steelers are perfectly average drafters. (You would think that with all the analysis that goes into the process someone would have developed a Moneyball type formula by now.) I have disagreed with a lot of their draft picks, given who was available at the time, but even with some great formula, no one gets it right all the time.

    I understand your point about impact players. When I selected Eifert in my first mock, it was because I thought he checked a lot of boxes (can help out early, heir to Heath, can allow Haley to get creative from 2TE sets). I think you are underestimating our need at OLB though. The defense has been good without a lot of OLB pressure on the QB the last two years, but our ability to force turnovers turns on our ability to get OLB pressure.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Its not about worilds its about Woodley if he don’t shape up their good with his replacement he’s making too much money not to produce the future is jk an he no matter what Woodley does

  • Pete

    If Worilds doesn’t blow the doors off this season then he’ll have been another 2nd round bust and the Steelers probably have to draft another OLB next draft.

  • Dan

    We most certainly do need at least 3 quality OLBs. The chances that Worilds, Woodley and Jones all stay healthy for a complete season are pretty small. As others say below, the question is now how will the season unfold and how will next off season unfold. If Worilds has a super star season, then he’ll be unaffordable and off to a money team. Then at least we’ll get a compensatory pick later and Jones can step in. If Worilds spends the season on IR, then maybe he’ll be resignable (if we want him) and we’ll have depth….although we always seem to have plenty of depth on our IR bench for some reason.

  • hergieburbur

    WalterFootball reported it a while back, and I have seen it in several other pre- and post- pro day reports. Some scouts predicted he would have bad workouts because he didn’t put in a lot of workout time. They were right.

  • hergieburbur

    In fairness, he didn’t work out at the combine.

  • Cody Younkin

    I feel there could have been colusion here to get Jariv to the Steelers.. A smart player in the draft that knew he was going some where regaurdless, wouldnt show full potential in hopes that he could be on a contending team. Plus during his visit he really liked the staff and the philosophy of the team. Now if woirlds can have a decent year and walk, we could get a nice compensatory

  • r4kolb

    Agreed….Can you say Kendrell Bell…