Jones upbeat despite slow 40 on Georgia’s pro day
Jarvis Jones was certain he had a ”great day” in his workout
for NFL coaches and scouts at Georgia’s pro day on Thursday, even
if his slow time in the 40-yard dash told a different story.
Jones, an outside linebacker, is regarded as a probable
first-round pick in the NFL draft. He ran the 40 in an unimpressive
4.92 seconds in less than ideal conditions. Temperatures were in
the mid-30s when players were timed on Georgia’s artificial turf
Linebacker Alec Ogletree, another possible first-round pick, was
clocked at 4.63 seconds.
Jones said he realized the pro day could play a big role in next
”This is one of the biggest interviews right now that I’m going
to have in my life,” Jones said. ”I believe all 32 teams are
here. What is going to be better than that?”
The strong turnout from the NFL included head coaches Mike Smith
of Atlanta, Rex Ryan of the Jets and Mike Tomlin of Pittsburgh.
Among the assistants attending were defensive coordinators Jack Del
Rio of Denver and Rob Ryan of New Orleans and Chargers offensive
coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.
Jones said he didn’t even want to know his time in the 40. Each
player had two attempts. On Jones’ first run, he appeared to pull
up and grimace near the end, but he said he was not injured.
”I can’t even tell you what happened,” Jones said. ”I think I
missed a step. I don’t know if I overstepped or understepped, but
it felt weird.”
Jones completed 20 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press,
only one below defensive tackle Kwame Geathers but three below the
team-best totals of 23 by running back Richard Samuel and
cornerback Sanders Commings. He had mid-level results of 30.5
inches in the vertical jump and 9 feet, 3 inches in the broad
Jones was measured at 6-2 and 248 pounds.
He says he hopes to be judged in the draft by his record as one
of the nation’s top pass-rushers. He had 28 sacks in two seasons at
Georgia, including 14 1/2 in 2012.
”I’m a football player,” Jones said. ”It’s about football,
right? I’m a football player. That’s what I do. At the end of the
day, you get those drills – I’m not saying they ain’t worth nothing
– but you get those drills, running the 40 and all that stuff. You
could get someone off the street who can run a 4.3, but they can’t
play football. That’s easy.”
Smith said the players’ 40-yard times in the NFL combine and the
pro day are only one part of their evaluations by NFL teams.
”I think you’ve got to not just evaluate the sprints and
stuff,” Smith said. ”You want to watch their individual workouts
that they do in terms of position skills. Those are the things that
they run at the combine and you’ve got the measures on them. This
was another opportunity to watch them doing some different drills
that they didn’t do at the combine.”
Ogletree, suspended for the first four games last season, had a
DUI arrest one week before last month’s NFL combine.
Asked what message he wants to give to the NFL, Ogletree said
”That I’m a hard worker. I’m a good person. I made a mistake but
I’m learning from it. I’m willing to work every day.”
Despite missing the four games, Ogletree led Georgia with 111
Georgia expects to set a school record with at least nine
players selected in next month’s NFL draft, and most are defensive
players. There were 18 players, including 12 on defense, in
Smith said Georgia, coming off a 12-2 season under coach Mark
Richt, has an unusually deep pool of draft prospects. Smith said
he’s not accustomed to seeing so many defensive prospects at any
”It’s not the norm, that’s for sure,” Smith said. ”Coach
Richt and his staff have done a great job putting together some
really good players and this year is probably the best that I’ve
seen in the five years that I’ve been coming over.”
Georgia had a school-record eight players drafted in 2002.
”I’m hoping it gets at least into the double digits,” Richt
said of this year’s draft.
”You could tell there’s going to be a bunch of Bulldogs out of
this class playing in the league, and we’re excited for them. … A
day like today was so big for the players, but it was big for
Other defensive players who worked out for scouts were Commings,
Geathers, safeties Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams, cornerback
Branden Smith, defensive linemen Abry Jones and Cornelius
Washington, and linebackers Christian Robinson and Michael
Wide receiver Tavarres King and Samuel were Georgia’s most
prominent offensive players in the draft.
Richt’s son, quarterback Jon Richt, also participated in the
testing. Jon Richt began his career at Clemson before transferring
to Mars Hill College.
Mark Richt said his son participated because Georgia had no
senior quarterback to throw passes to King and Samuel.
”It was nice for him to have an opportunity to throw,” Richt
Smith ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds, easily the best time of the
day. His broad jump of 10-8 also was the day’s best.