Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones was busy this week in Ohio at the annual NFL Rookie Symposium, but he let local reporters there know that he likely would\’ve been drafted by the Cleveland Browns with the sixth-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft if not for his medical concerns and poor Pro Day workout back in March.
According to Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland, Jones said the Browns told him that they wanted him, but concerns about a stenosis problem persisted, despite several positive medical checks at the combine, and Jones’ poor pre-draft workouts caused them to bypass him in lieu of drafting LSU linebacker Barkevious Mingo instead.
Mingo, who was also present for the symposium, praised Jones play during his time at Georgia.
“He’s deceptively strong,” Mingo said of Jones, per the report by Grossi. “He walked those big offensive tackles back, and he was getting in the backfield, getting sacks, and he just never stopped.”
As far as Jones falling to the Steelers in the first round, he once again reiterated that he is happy where he ultimately landed.
“I think I fell to a great organization,” Jones said. “I’m blessed to be there. It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m loving it. There’s nothing like playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. You can feel the intensity when you walk into that building. Being a part of this defense is going to mean a lot to me. It’s all about winning.”
Just as Steelers fans will forever link rookie running back Le\’Veon Bell with Green Bay Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy, you can bet that Browns fans will also be up-to-date on what Jones does with the Steelers, being as the organization chose to draft Mingo instead.
Jones had more than twice the production that Mingo did over the course of their last two years in college, so the Browns must have had some pretty strong red flags associated with the Georgia linebacker to warrant them removing him from their first round draft board.
As far as the relationship between Jones and Mingo goes, they appear to get along pretty well, despite the fact that they will be enemies on the field twice a season for several years to come.
“Me and Mingo are friends,” Jones said. “I know he’s going to do great. Hope he has a great career. I know he will.”